31/100 — A visit

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I was full from a nice barbecue with my cousin and his friends yesterday when I decided that I needed to leave the house at least once. So I went for a long walk around the neighbourhood in the golden evening sun. Scarf in hand I turned corners wherever I felt like it, phone in my pocket, enjoying the lush green of the trees, wondering whether I’d like to live anywhere in this area. One thing I really like about Berlin is that almost every building looks different; there are so many stories in this city.

Then I turned a corner and found myself across the road from a huge abandoned complex.

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This area is almost exclusively residential buildings, so I imagine this might once have been a school or office complex of some sort. A small part of the ground floor houses a music school, but the rest of the building looks to be empty; a good six, seven floors of it. I wish I’d taken a decent picture to convey its size, but the sign in front of it says that there are 400 small flats to be developed here.

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Right now, though, it’s covered in graffiti, standing tall and silent in the middle of a community. Walking around it, I noticed an open door, so I stuck my head inside. Dust hanging from the ceiling, all I could see were more doors behind a glass wall, so I left quickly; not without noting the strange heat inside. Like the building was exhaling on me.

I think it was mostly the holiday evening silence that gave it this eerie quality. But as I stood in the sunny large open space behind the building, where I could hear no sound but the songs of many birds and the clanging of a loose scrap of metal hanging off a door, I looked up at the many windows – some open; some still with the curtains on – and I imagined all the lives that might be lived in there, right now. Without anybody knowing.

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