Ode to a telephone box

There it stands. Metal and glass with faded red paint. Glass dirty and smeared. Metal rusting. Door askew. Once a place of significance and of purpose, now abandoned, alone. Redundant. Erected in years past by people long forgotten, for methods no longer required. A monument.

A monument to past connections in our era of continuous connection.

How many remember that ritual of use? Coins into slot, dial number, speak. That ceremony of cost, whereby coins were offered to enable communication. And of frustration when one did not have enough, and speech was. Stopped.

A ceremony. A ritual. All in history now. Half forgotten. Fading in memory. Strange to the younger generation who have not seen its use and may not understand its purpose. This rusting red box. This monument. This place.

But this glass and metal box is not inert or consigned to the past. It is a landmark and an active presence. It is a part of this place in the present, though no longer participating in the ritual of communication. The faded red paint speaks of age. Though, for some, its original purpose may be uncertain or unknown, it is used in other ways. A meeting place, a shelter, a landmark, a reminder.

It is a place, a location of significance. For some it is memory. A place defined by a rusting red box, rooted into the earth. More than the metal and glass from which it is composed, as much part of the landscape as the grass and the flowers and the hills that surround. Enduring.

And there it stands. Still. This monument. And will for some time to come, when past ceremony and ritual and use have faded from living memory. When none remain to remember.

When that time comes, it is likely that some remnant, some part of this monument will remain, speaking of times gone by, of people long gone. A reminder of those who have gone before, of times past, but a presence still active and alive and part of that place. Until rust, and weathering and age consign it to dust.

Will some continue to remember when it is gone, I wonder? Will others speak of its former place, point to the spot it once stood, remember its place? Will this place remain marked, when all crumbles to dust. Will stories and memories remain? I wonder.

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