“They’re all old,” the guide gestured, “but some are worse off than others, for they are windowed.”
“Age does not make a building old,” he explained. “Even if sooner or later years form spider webs of fine cracks on every wall, those are just realities built by time. The product of life.”
“But these ones,” his hand rose in half-salute, half-point toward a row of especially dilapidated shutters, “they are windowed.”
When our faces must have told him we still hadn’t the story he’d wanted be told, he sighed and took pity on us. So privileged we had to be to not have lived what would have let us understand the depth of meaning in his words.
“Rooms empty of everything but ruined dreams. Windows widowed of hope. Houses like these go beyond broken relics. Some had gone so long bereft of young ones to gaze through their portals in a waking dream, that short of a miracle to breathe life back into them, they are windowed: dried to the bone of sound, stripped of souls, ready to fall.”