Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"The" Building

Originally posted on September 27, 2009

"The" Building

Current mood: indescribable

When cleaning out my camera's expansion card today, I found two photos I had forgotten about. The subject of these photos is a place I've never been. but this building haunts me and it has for almost two years.

I first saw this building at dusk on January 26, 2008. I had spent the day in Montreal with Carrie, Michelle, Linda & Gail. I was staying at Dr Brassard's convalescence home but the girls whom had come up to visit me, didn't have hotel reservations. Nothing was close to the home and certainly no hotel rooms in Montreal are inexpensive.

Karen & Corey from the Nashua Telegraph, had found a place within a few miles of the home (Laval) and at a great price. When they had completed their trip from NH, they went straight to their hotel to nap. But they had called to let my group know they had arrived. when it was time for the two groups to hook up, when went to the hotel in hopes that they had available rooms. They did and having both traveling parties at the same location made things so much easier.

But as dusk was setting in, on this already cold day, I was sitting, pressed up against the right rear car window, staring out the window, stomach in pure knots and I could see this huge building being constructed. It seemed like I could see it for miles, but due to the ungawdly awful Montreal traffic, I'm sure it was much less than that.

The building had a shell at the bottom levels but was still steel girders at the top levels. It had a functioning clock tower at the top and a massive crane attached to the side of the building. I didn't know why, but this building struck a nerve. My nerves were getting more and more on edge as the day had gone on. I couldn't share this with any one, but I'm sure they knew.

As we went for dinner that evening, we got closer and closer to 'the' building and I could clearly see it from the Boston Pizza parking lot. The clock tower was functioning and it lit a haunting smile over the cold Laval skyline.

The next day, after heading back downtown, we headed back to Laval for lunch. We had to eat at the A & W we spotted the night before (an inside MCM joke) and do do some last minute shopping at the mall and Wal*Mart across the street. The parking lot of Wal*Mart put me as close as 'the' building as I have been to date.

The girls then brought me back to the home as it was very important that I be there by 4:00 to start prepping for the next mornings surgery. My nerves were all lumped at the back of my throat, tied together by fear and unknowing. I stared at 'the' building as long as possible. It would be the last time I saw it for months.

When I returned home from surgery, 'the' building would often enter my dreams or pop into my mind and bring me crashing right back to those feelings I had at those times.

When I returned, thirteen weeks later, for a follow up and the Canadian Press interview, I elected to stay at the same hotel the other six had stayed at in January. It brought me by 'the' building quite a few times. But now the shell was complete and the only cranes were on the ground, none attached to the girders. But those same stomach knots returned. And I was amazed how much work had been completed in such a short amount of time, especially considering the cold, snowy winter of 2008.

Fast forward to May 2009, and I returned to Montreal for a check up and a minor correction to my surgery. "The' building was now complete and being lived in. While it was under construction, I wasn't sure it it was residential or commercial, but the large amount of balconies and lights at night confirmed it was indeed residential.

In June 2009, I returned to Montreal for one last check up. This time I had my friend Jenn with me. As we were going for lunch at the Boston Pizza, I could see 'the' building getting closer. And reality finally dawned on me.

In January 2008, 'the' building was started, but far complete, cold, alone internally, and mostly a
skeleton. In April 2008, it was nearly complete, much warmer and really taking shape. In May 2009, it was complete, and the lights inside gave off a warm glow. Much, much warmer than It had been fifteen months prior. And the clock tower smiled brightly.

To this day, 'the' building still brings up feelings I can not describe. Nor want to relive. I can not ever return to Montreal and not drive by 'the' building.

For that day with Jenn I realized, this was much more than a just a building. The building was very symbolic of me, just in a different form.

Laval, QUE

Laval, QUE 5/14/09

Addendum added March 27, 2009

I have since found a great breakfast place very close to 'The" Building. I finally asked what the building was, and it is a retirement home for wealthy folks. Guess I won't be moving in, but I know one thing. I have to at least see that building every time I'm in the Montreal area.

Nothing gives me the goose bumps like I had that cold January 26, 2008, staring while scared to death, as does just seeing "The" Building

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