…they would tell you a very ordinary story about ordinary people who loved each other extraordinarily.
Excuse me for this cheesy opening sentence but this is a cheesy story about a cheesy situation. My old family house got knocked down. On purpose, by the hand of a contractor and his bulldozer, not by a force of nature. It was old, practically a ruin, with a tendency to collapse on our heads if the wind blows a little too hard so we had no other choice but to replace it with a new one. I was so excited by the idea of a brand new house that wouldn’t look like an archaeological site from a Stone Age that I completely forgot I might feel a little weepy when the old one goes down.
When we first asked for our construction permit few years ago, my mother was already crying her eyes out over the fact that she will put to waste something her parents put their life savings into. I was too busy playing interior designer and decorating imaginary rooms to sympathize with that emotion. I laughed and rationally tried to explain to her that house is merely a bunch of bricks sealed with cement and it has no real emotional value.
This rational and reasonable approach worked like a charm until I came to the construction site and saw they removed all the doors and windows from the house. MY DOORS! MY WINDOWS! REMOVED FROM MY HOUSE!! I had an inner meltdown as I walked through demolished rooms and took last pictures of the insides, tears running down my face. Mom just stood there with a grin on her face that said: “This is what you get for laughing at me, cry baby”.
Exactly 23 years of my memories is now a pile of bricks, stone, wood and dust disposed somewhere in a landfill.
The big outdoor stone staircase is gone. The one where I almost broke my neck on in 2nd grade when I did involuntary front flip that could have left me paraplegic. I just got a new pair of clogs, ran down the stairs to show them off to my friend and dived right in. You’re probably still stuck on the word “clogs.” Yes, clogs, that was the fashion those days.
Grandma’s old room is gone too, the one where she kept all her old belongings. Including a dresser that we almost never opened, which once was a home for my hidden scientific experiment. I really wanted to know how egg looks like when you mix it with vinegar and leave it in a jar for few days. I left it there for 5 years. This is no joke. I am happy to announce that the egg looks green after years of mingling with acid and surprisingly enough, it didn’t explode and it doesn’t stink until you open the jar.
Everything is gone, even the attic which I never saw because I am acrophobic and couldn’t climb the ladder that led up there.
Everything is gone, but foundations for new memories are already built. New walls are rising, ready to take me in, waiting for new stories to tell.
The article was originally written in English.
Photo: Danijela Simrak
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