Quick steps pad the sidewalk, tennis shoes, high heels. Dried and
broken leaves toss themselves playfully, swept along by the breeze of so many feet, legs, and arms hurrying all at once. Car
doors shut, engines turn, and once again the humdrum ballet that is the daily migration from work to home begins. A gawky
plastic identification badge taps against my jacket as I rush to my own car. I revel in the absolute normalcy of it all, then
I see it. A place I once called home, beautiful with off white plaster, and silver windows reflecting the setting sun behind
me, standing proud in a new found glory. Someone redeemed that old building, once shrouded in darkness, mystery, and rumor.
We all knew about the third elevator shaft, a red x on the door reminding us of our worst nightmares. Tales told in the pitch
black of an abandoned building take on a life of their own, even the cops wouldnt go near it. Only the homeless, with their
odd mix of desperation and bravado dared to venture inside. There wasnt a single pane of glass left in any of its window frames,
though full of six to seven hundred vagrants at any given time, no sound escaped, nor did a few unfortunate souls, or so we
always heard, they were resting fitfully in the watery grave of the sub-basement, mere floors below where I would lay my head
each night, praying the psycho that led them to that floating hell wouldnt come upon me as I dared to sleep. I wonder what
horrific secrets were uncovered during the renovation, and thank the powers that be I wasnt one of them. I take one last quick
glance before getting into my car, and I know I am forever set apart from the 'normal folk'. We have both, this building and
I, been rebuilt, polished, painted, and plastered over, but the past remains within each of us. Unsure on the steadiest of
foundations, we hold our secrets close to the vest.