These Secrets Die With The Hospital - Abandoned New Jersey

These Secrets Die With The Hospital... or do they?

    You had freshly graduated from high school, I was clueless and carefree. This was no chance encounter, arrangements had been made weeks prior to meet here, on this very street at this very day and time. We gathered our  things and I locked my car. You casually strolled over;  this was not your first rodeo. Myself, well, I was a bit more reserved. You were, in fact, a real person. We exchanged introductions and eyed each other up and down before moving onward. Clearly, none of us were cops, and probably not serial killers either.

    A warm summer breeze blows through the trees as we walk up the trail. Little did we know it now, but this path would soon become as ingrained in us as the very soles of our feet or the hairs on us. Years from now, the steps we take will become muscle memory, every inch of it rooted in the back of our mind to the point where you can run it in total darkness without making a single wrong move. We quickly arrive at our entry point and the familiar smell of abandoned building wafts over and consumes us. We are back again. If only I had known that I was on track to make a series of choices that would ultimately lead to some of the biggest mistakes and best decisions of my life. 

    It seems almost impossible to think that one stinky, rundown, abandoned hospital could be responsible for such a profound impact on my life. Yet, numerous milestones in my life as a young adult either occurred at or somehow revolved around this place. It's almost like a black hole that has sucked me in and refuses to let me go. At times, I've felt a sort of disdain towards the hospital. "I don't want to be known as that weird girl that always hangs out at the abandoned insane asylum." I'd proclaim, but there is simply no denying that I've met some of my best friends and worst enemies here. 

    As the walls began to crumble, so did our relationship. I had begun to realize that the only thing more toxic than the mold of these asbestos ridden rooms was being with you. Escape was necessary, but like some sort of bad dream, all I could find was a dark and complex labyrinth of tunnels with no end in sight.

   The weeks dredged on with the demolition equipment drawing closer and closer. Feeling trapped, I began spilling my thoughts and secrets on the very walls that had contained us all these years. With every stroke of the sharpie, another sigh of relief. Even if no one wanted to hear me in the real world, at least I could let it all out in these empty corridors. As things became more and more volatile at home, visiting the hospital was a welcomed reprieve. Here, I could be myself, with no fear of rules. By the end of the summer, the hallways were littered with empty pizza boxes, and the walls filled with countless thoughts of a handful of individuals who called this place their second home. It was like the bathroom stall of any generic junior high, riddled with everything from mindless, silly ideas, to the emo song lyrics we knew by heart, to things much more sinister. 

    You may have thought that these secrets would die with the hospital, but I am here to tell you that perhaps that is not the case. The hospital may have been reduced to rubble, and we have all gone our separate ways, but that doesn't erase the things that have happened. The things that you have done. If there's one thing we have all agreed upon here, it's that you can't just erase history... and this story will be told.

KC 9/12/18

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