I used to have the ticket stub hanging on a wall in my shithole apartment in Oakland. That's an empty bottle of German wine on the table. I think the theme was "my empty life". It was for the first photography class I ever took. I was in a bad space that was only going to get progressively worse for the next few years. I still have the ticket stub in a box in my closet. I have those little brass shoes you can see off to the right too.
While my students were preoccupied, I took a walk around the hospital. It was bitterly cold. I usually like to sit outside when I can, but I had to go in pretty quickly. Along one of the sidewalks there are impressions of leaves in the cement. I like that, although I don't think they are impressions of real leaves. They look too perfect.
On our way to the parking lot, the shuttle bus drove past the site of the old hospital that was torn down last year. Now it is just a big lot with some big holes in the ground. It will eventually be a new neighborhood within the existing neighborhood. I was there when I was a student, for a while as an RN, and taught my first group of nursing students there.
What struck me today was how easily my memory places the buildings in the empty spaces. I blink, and there they are, just like they were. I blink again, and there is emptiness.
Wish you were here.