On my walk to work, I pass the old Allegheny County Courthouse and Jail, a big stone building with creepers growing up the northern wall. At about shoulder level, there is a rectangle cut in the stone with a patch of brick beneath. I’ve made it my superstition to touch the brick on my way to and from work. It’s how I open and close a good, more purposeful day.
Initially, I simply liked the brick patch because I like idiosyncrasies, like chipped mugs and three legged dogs. After I passed it a few dozen times, I liked it because it was a constant reminder that people, like buildings, have unseen layers (good and bad). Then I learned that back in 1882, a fire destroyed most of the original building. In 1884, they redesigned the jail, building on top of what was already there, stone over brick.
I decided that I like the brick patch because it’s proof we can rebuild on top of our worst disasters. The old version of yourself might even inspire someone else to live a good, more purposeful day. Although I hope no one is touching you on the way to and from work… Unless it’s an arrangement you have… In which case, go right ahead. I think? … YOU DO YOU.
Show the world your stones, y’all, but remember your bricks. In this case stones is not a euphemism for testicles. Do not show the world your testicles, y’all. Again, unless it’s some arrangement you have, in which case YOU DO YOU.
On what I thought was an unrelated note, the past week I’ve walked past 6 dead birds on the sidewalk, which seems like a really bad omen. When I looked up the Allegheny County C&J for this post, I found out that it’s supposedly haunted, so now I think I’ve been cursed for fondling it’s walls and birds are casually dying in my wake.
ALSO, I just read that The Silence of The Lambs was filmed inside of this building! Birds and lambs beware.