Friday, September 14, 2007
House of Bricks
Our kitchen window looks out onto Dr. Treadway's former office—or it did until today. Dr. Treadway was the beloved pediatrician of countless New Orleans children, but several weeks after the storm, with his business and his home in flooded ruins, he killed himself. For two years, the modest brick building has stood empty, and the weeds have grown tall around it.
This morning, the family watched from across the street as the backhoe, with amazing violence, smashed its first blow into the roof, then another, and another. It surged forward, mounting the wreckage to demolish more, churning through the rooms. In ten minutes, it was over. The building was a mound of debris. The driver turned off his engine, took one last swig of Coke, and tossed the empty can on the heap. In the new silence, each family member stepped forward and took a keepsake brick.
It was one of the saddest things I've seen in a while.