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A sign with the loudly announcing word ‘auction’ was strategically placed in a small intersection of an expensive suburb.

A beautifully proportioned house with a panoramic outlook quietly signified a message –‘old money’ — and unleashed the imagination.  An open door belying an immediate impression of privacy and exclusiveness encouraged one to come in.  A few people with badges and artificial smiles stood at the porch motioning the hesitant visitors inside.  A cold feeling of abandonment grabbed my heart and wouldn’t release its grip for the whole time spent there.

Open GateA beautifully set breakfast table proudly exhibited a full set of exquisite china.  However, an absence of chairs reminded visitors that it was just a display.  The linen cabinet seemed to be ashamed of its inability to protect the privacy of its owners any longer and had no choice but to reveal the very neatly stacked contents.

A mink coat was carelessly thrown on the bed for anyone who was interested to try it on.  Never worn, seven or eight pairs of shoes were still in the shoe boxes, telling the story of one’s hope some day to wear them.  A walking frame put against the wall implied a further development of the story.  Souvenirs from the Far and Middle East –lovely reminders of enjoyable trips — were scattered on the elegant table.  Antique porcelain figurines carried choking strings with the attached tags around their gorgeous necks.  The pictures that confirmed a discerning taste of the once upon a time owners shared the same destiny. Pieces of jewelry, mostly silver, were lying on a glass shelf looking a bit odd in this display of luxury. (For many sensible people when they get old, diamonds lose attraction and the likelihood of violence makes them consider available options.)

Lifestyle, once expensive, discerning and exquisite, created by the lucky combination of a good taste and big money, was already breathless and stripped bare to be sold piece by piece.  It appeared that life itself abandoned this house, leaving behind the open door for all of us to look and see…