Elizabeth street would never be the same, in fact, it would probably be renamed after its destruction by the hulking pieces of equipment. Tonight, the last night, for these three houses to stand, the equipment stood still and silent while the houses spoke.
Three houses, side by side, were the only evidence of a once affluent neighborhood from the late nineteenth century. One by one the houses had fallen to fire, vandalism and natural forces. No one seemed to care...but me.
I came to visit the past and would walk through the rooms in the unnatural quiet that seemed to surround these houses, but I could hear. I could still hear the laughter in the kitchen as the children had an early supper with the servants. The happiness traveled through the tips of my fingers, up my arm and to my heart when I touched the old broken kitchen table. There was a lot of love here.
The large living area with an elegant chandelier still in place, echoed with laughter and music. I could feel harmony, friendship and yes, even love, when I touched the fireplace stone still standing. The very bones of this house shouted happiness through every wall I touched.
In the second house, I felt a sadness so deep and so intense, it took my breath. This home had been childless, I could sense it...in the stair banister and in the empty room that could have been a nursery. The only thing that remained was a small carved horse, smaller than my hand, sitting, forgotten in a corner because its purpose in creation no longer mattered to the person who had carved it.
The architecture in this house was amazing, the details intricate, showcasing the talent of the craftsman. I could not linger long, the sadness had a way of seeping into me, if I stayed, I felt I would not find the strength to leave.
The third house was the grandest of all, surrounding by ancient oak trees that no one could reach around, the house set far from the street's edge, as if to say, I want no visitors. I traveled the drive, broken brick, some up heaved by more than a century of weather and disuse, sprouted small trees that in another few years would have completely blocked the house from sight.
The outside seemed oppressive, the inside was worse. I could not breath, the fear overcame me as I heard the shouts of a man and the quiet whimpers of a woman from just opening the door to enter. I swear I could smell bourbon and cigars in the air. I started to climb the stairs but the banister produced such sadness, fear, and menacing cruelty, I returned quickly to outside.
This was one house I would not miss.
I had said my farewells to the old homes.
The next morning, from afar, I watched as all the iron monsters roared to life and began their destruction. It took only two days to remove the houses, leaving only the scarred ground to mark their existence.
I wondered if the hearts of the houses were destroyed too or if you could walk the ground and still sense the life that once lived there.
Tomorrow, I would see.