Bobby’s first memory was of the man at the foundry where he was born. Well, maybe he should think of it as being made, since he was a brick, and couldn’t really have been said to have been born. Anyway, the man at the foundry looked down at Bobby, smiled, and then placed him on a shelf with many other bricks that looked just like Bobby. At first he was confused, but then he realized that they all had to be the same shape if they were going to pull together and make something great. As fate would have it, within a few days the load of bricks that Bobby was part of was sold to a construction company that was in the process of building a daycare center.
Bobby was very eager to see where he would be placed in his wall, but he would be happy just to be part of something larger. When Bobby was placed in a wall that was facing into what looked like a large room, he was excited to see what would be placed in the room. He didn’t have too long to wait, because within two weeks, the rest of the construction was complete, and people started loading things into the large room. First they brought in brightly colored carpets with funny shapes on them, and then came the colorful pictures to cover parts of the walls, and finally toys were placed in bins along the base of many of the walls. It was then that Bobby realized what the room was. He was part of a playroom! Bobby was so proud to be part of something so fun that he nearly crumbled for the happiness. However, Bobby was able to keep himself together and looked forward to the day when the first kids would come in and enjoy this fine playroom.
Bobby didn’t have long to wait because the next day was the grand opening, and the room was full of happy children and their parents. Bobby got to witness how happy the children were when they were playing with each other, and even when they were playing all alone, lost in the worlds that their amazing minds could create. Bobby watched as the children were happy at play, when they were mad at some perceived injustice or injury, when they were sad when things didn’t go their way, and even when they were got to be too big for the playroom. Bobby knew that when they got to be too big, then he wouldn’t be seeing them for long, and he would miss them, but he also knew that there were always new children coming in each year, and that he would always have happy children to enjoy. One day, Bobby saw a little girl that looked an awful lot like one of the girls that he had watched years earlier and he wondered if humans could shrink. He was deep in this thought when the girl’s mother showed up to pick her up, and Bobby recognized the woman as the girl he had watched. It had never occurred to Bobby that he was watching generations of children that would grow up and have children of their own. Realizing this, he felt the same pride that he had felt years previous. The years passed and Bobby watched the children grow, and some of the children even brought their children in years later, until it was time for the daycare to remodel.
Bobby woke up on the day of the remodel to find that the room was empty when it should have been full of the colorful decorations and bins. This worried Bobby until he saw the men come in wearing work clothes and helmets. Bobby realized that if they were going to be working in here, then they didn’t want to get all of the colorful things dirty. He settled in to see what the men would be working on, but became nervous when the men started to do measurements of the wall that Bobby was part of. When Bobby realized what was going to happen, he started to think back to see what he had done to make the people at the daycare unhappy. He couldn’t think of anything, but he was sure that he must have done something, or else they wouldn’t be trying to get rid of him. It was at this point that Bobby overheard the men talking about needing to get rid of this wall in order to expand the playroom. Bobby then understood that he hadn’t done anything wrong, just that the room needed to be bigger so more kids could play there at the same time. Bobby was sad to be leaving the playroom, but he recognized that he was a brick, and that he would have to go where he was placed.
So Bobby was surprised that when his section of wall was taken out of the daycare center, he wasn’t just tossed in the local dump. Instead, he was taken to another project not too far from the daycare center, and used to help finish a wall in another large room. Bobby couldn’t quite figure out what this room was, because even after the men were done with it, no one came in and placed colorful rugs or pictures on the walls. There were no toys in bins against the walls, nor were there children to watch as Bobby was use to doing. Instead, the room was full of chairs, and a large wooden stage. There were heavy curtains drawn across the stage that had funny little tassels attached to the curtains which were only opened when people had to yell or sing at each other. This confused Bobby terribly, and his confusion didn’t ease when he realized that there were people watching as others yell or sing.
However, what really surprised Bobby was the day when all of the room’s chairs were taken up by people that looked very happy. In this crowd, Bobby saw a few children, which was the only time he could remember seeing children in this room. However, the people didn’t sit in any of the seats that were closest to the stage and Bobby couldn’t figure out why. He didn’t think he could remember seeing anyone in here getting ready to yell or sing when he started to hear loud music coming from the speakers mounted on the wall above him and people started filing in wearing what looked like dresses and funny little hats with tassels hanging from them, as well. He wondered briefly if the hats and the curtains came with the same tassels. During the ceremony, which Bobby soon realized this was, he realized that he recognized many of the people that were in the dresses as people that had been in this room on other occasions, and a few of them had been the ones singing and yelling at each other. He even recognized a few of the people that had been in the playroom years ago, including the little girl that looked so much like her mother. However, she was no longer a little girl. She was one of the people in the dresses! She looked as happy to walk across that stage and get a piece of paper from another person in a dress as she ever was in the playroom. This made Bobby very happy.
Time slipped by and Bobby witnessed this ceremony many more times before the men came back to do renovations on the wall that Bobby was part of. Bobby wondered if he would go to the dump now, or if he would be part of another wall. He certainly hoped that he would be part of another wall, but he also knew that he was an old brick, and they may not be able to use him anymore. After his section was removed, he waited to see where the truck that he was loaded into would take him. Lying in the back of the truck, Bobby couldn’t see where he was until the back of the truck was lowered. When it was, Bobby could see trash all over the place, and realized that this must be the dump. He knew that he would one day end up here, but he really wished it wouldn’t have been this soon. He watched as the men pulled other parts of the wall out and tossed them in a pile off to the side when they reached for Bobby.
Bobby tried to keep his mind on the playroom and the strange room with the stage, when he a man with a clipboard stopped the other men, telling them to leave Bobby in the truck, and that he could still be used. Bobby then realized that he had been holding his breath and let it out in a long gasp. The back was put back up on the truck and Bobby rode to the next building location where he was once again placed in a wall that was facing into a large room. This one wasn’t full of chairs like the last room, but it also wasn’t full of toys like the playroom. However, there were games against one wall, and there were plenty of chairs near a large television on the other side of the room. When Bobby tried to figure out who would be in this room, he couldn’t quite figure it out until the day when the room had its first visitors. The first two people that came into the room were a couple of elderly gentlemen who chose a chessboard that was set up on a table near Bobby. It then struck Bobby that he was in a senior center, and he was glad because he had wondered what happened to people as they got older. He spent many years watching as the senior citizens enjoyed each other’s company, shared in each other’s loss, and helped each other celebrate the victories in their lives. One day, Bobby recognized a woman that was playing checkers with a woman that looked very much like her grand-daughter. Bobby realized that the elderly woman was the girl that he had watched in the playroom, watched walk across the stage, and was now playing with her own grand-daughter. This thought made Bobby very happy, and he decided that this was the right place for him to end up.
Bobby lives there still, watching people, as he has his entire life.
© Copyright 2016 CharlesLeeMcCabe. All rights reserved.
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