There was just enough room between the last pole of the chain link fence and the side of the house. The fence was festooned with warning signs. “Keep Out” and “Guard Dog on Duty” but I knew there weren’t any dogs. At least I didn’t think so, at any point a couple of muscled watch-dogs could have leapt from the old Victorian house. I stopped halfway between the fence line and the massive edifice, hearing only my heartbeat and Interstate 25 humming off in the distance, I trusted that if there were dogs, they would have attacked me by now.
In my youth I did this almost nightly, just to look inside the hulking manors before they were ripped from the ground. My motivation was to be the last human to walk the decks of the Titanic before the rust and water pressure turned the iron to dust. Back then I would wander around theses houses thinking of the Silver Barons that built the brick and mortar, and within days the reception parlor and massive staircases would be gone from the Earth. These 1890’s monuments, sitting in the city’s once finest neighborhood were replaced by condo buildings to overlook Interstate 25 and downtown.
Now it seems the tide of obliterating our Victorian history has turned. The thinned out herd of massive mansions, with their stone and wrought iron filigree, do not get hunted down and murdered as they sleep anymore. Some survived. Somehow. In our new, enlightened and mature sense of preserving the past, the houses that once sat in the finest neighborhoods turned skid-row has now returned back to the city’s finest neighborhood.
“I hadn’t done this in years.” I thought as I pulled a sheet of plywood from a back window. I guess I didn’t need to. “They hadn’t torn down a Victorian house in ages.”
As I made my way through the house I could see a considerable change, this particular mansion wasn’t set for the chopping block; it was being prepped for “restoration.” Fifteen years earlier I explored the house that once stood next door. In a gaping hole in the upstairs bedroom I jerked off watching the city below me. Now condos “priced in the mid-300” have taken its place.
The feel of this house was different somehow. In the dozens of house I’ve explored I felt the Green Mile death walk sensation, this feeling was one of anticipation. Looking out of an upstairs window, out at the city, I started to jerk off. As I glanced over at the next-door condo building I met the eyes of one of the tenants on their balcony.
“Guess it’s all changed.” I said to the front parlor room as I kicked out the plywood on the front door. I ducked into a homeless shelter-turned-hipster club as the cop car turned the corner.