Three bricks lay by my front sidewalk. On the diagonal. The same bricks I trekked from the delapidated paint-furniture-factory, down the street a few hundred feet. The building was torn down permit-less. There had to have been thousands of bricks, free for the taking.
At first I was just pulling the bricks in the girls little red wagon, but being "artistically" inclined I had images of a brick-lined sidewalk streaming thru my wanna-be-english-garden backyard. I quickly learned I needed a lot more bricks than what it would appear, if I wanted to do what my brain was picturing for me. Soon my wagon was replaced by my car.
Other people caught onto the bricks too. Plus doors. Plus cabinets. I was a small operation compared to most. I'd take the girls down and we'd scavange through the concrete playground. "Watch out for nails, glass, rusty metal, " I'd tell the baby girls as I found other pieces of contraband which had fallen to the ground. I wondered if this was how real city kids played in rubble. My other "purchases" were usually wood pieces that I would eventually create from.
The bricks I kept going back for. Everytime I'd drive how many feet, I'd attempt to stack up even more in my trunk. It was hard work. That dusty, heavy smell. I'm sure I was breathing in old mortar, but I had images of a mixture of asbesto's and lead-paint lining my lungs with every breath. I figured I'd live thru it. So far, so good. Eventually I thought, how much brick does one person need?
Now I realize, more.
I have attempted various designs with the multi-colored clay. I lined my flower beds in the backyard. I made a short pathway to the recycle-part of the garden. I've stacked them around flowers. I took the bulk of them and created a "porch" from my back porch area. It was my outside haven, I suppose. But, I didn't lay them correctly. I knew that. I was supposed to dig, level, pack sand, to keep my bricks looking nice and even. Now, they are shifting and weeds are telling me hello everyday. But the girls tree-swing hangs above. And I pick the bricks up here and there to shift the shifting. I just moved a pile by the garage last week, in attempt to add-on to the lost haven area. I think I'm probably fooling myself into thinking I'm making it look any better.
So, when my youngest asked the other day if she could have some bricks to prop up her "have a happy summer" sign to put by the front sidewalk, I of course didn't care. Doubt I would have, even if my bricks were perfectly perfect.
Two white concrete bricks, which were the end of the take-home pile, and one red brick lay right there. I see them sitting here on my front porch. Now, if I could find another rundown building or a lonely pile of bricks, I would bring'em home and make something more...maybe that yellow-brick road.
"Happiness is only real when shared".....from Into the Wild
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