Do you know the place, where the ferns grow thick through the cracked concrete, where the moss grows on the skeletons of neon prayers to an unhearing world, the place where we once walked, all those years ago, when our eyes were as young as our ambition, where the world felt like it would carry us forever, when there might have been a god, or two, or three hundred, or maybe everything was a god, or maybe everything was just God.
[[I remember the place.]]
Good. Do you remember what we did there? The times we shared? Those long mornings, climbing high, diving deep, finding beauty in all those little places. Remember how happy it made us, to find ourselves in that place, before it was lost. It was so large, but so fragile. We knew it couldn't last forever, and maybe that was what was so wonderful about it. Maybe it just lived in our heads, the ghost of a memory. Maybe we were there a thousand years ago. Though I think it was yesterday.
[[I remember long nights in bed with you, I remember not sleeping, for if we slept, tomorrow would come and we were one day closer to having to leave.]]
I remember. It was halcyon, we stood, we were monument to love, or to youth, or to having the privelege to go somewhere and be ourselves in a place no one knew us. We could be anonymous, we could be no one, and hide from everyone but each other. We could bear our hearts out in front of the world, and maybe that's the beauty of a place like that.
[[It's still there.]]
Not like it was. Before, it was everything we wanted. It was a city built for us. A cathedral, it's pillars were the skyscrapers, the sky was stained glass. The pedestrians acolytes, the seats on the subway were our pews. Though, it breathed. It was alive, moved, changed, adapted. It was as alive and alert as we were, clawing its way up to glory. In those days, it was on the rise. Every inch, every pane of glass, every rivet driven by workers who died building those beautiful palaces to something that could never last, they were all bones, joints, of a being that knew it would never last. The beauty was that it would all come crashing down someday, and though many thought that day would never come, it did, and with it, that place died. It's ruins now, it isn't what it was.
[[There's still beauty to be found.]]
How so? The beast is dead, it will never crawl upwards, every time I see it, it makes me feel hollow. Millions of people, almost choral, building that place into the beauty they wanted to see, their voices raised in unison, their work is gone.
[[But there is still beauty in the monument they left behind. Those skyscrapers still stand, broken, bent, remnants of what they were, reminders of what happens when material comes before connection, of what happens when we build the Tower of Babel, that it all comes crashing down. And there's some wild beauty in that. Finality has its own joys, its own happiness. The world keeps turning, whether or not you or I still stand on its surface. The tides keep turning, the sun still rises and sets, and things keep going.]]
But what beauty is left in the world without those to behold it? What happens to the beast, that ancient machine, with no one left to tend it, no one left to see it to its eternal reward, when it fell, it was abandoned, forgotten, discarded, like so many things. The things we have from our ancestors are of two categories, things that were so large, so monolithic, to big to be destroyed, or things that were discarded and forgotten about, unimportant enough to survive eons. The beast falls into both categories. The tunnels run deep, long, bored through the flesh of the earth, permanent scars left behind by a race that took its home for granted. Where is the beauty in creating such mess, and then leaving it behind, hoping that someday nature will clean it up?
[[Nature will clean. Nature always returns the land to what it once was. The skyscrapers will crumble, their skeletons will form dens for the creatures that run along the surface of the planet a hundred thousand years from when anyone has heard of you or I. Those tunnels will turn into flowing rivers, the concrete will all be washed away, and they will be as natural to whomever next inherets this place as the fossils of what came before us. There's a cyclical nature to things, a flow, like the breathing in, and the purging out.]]