It's still standing. Somehow. There's not a shard of glass left on the structure and the doors were removed a long time ago. It's no longer a shelter, no longer a square metre of space you could go to talk without distractions and yet it is still functional. Pick up the receiver and after a silent second the repetitive purr of the dial tone still sounds in your ear. Listen carefully though and you'll hear the final breaths of the condemned. The booth knows that it is finished, carrying a sickness that nobody wants to treat. Soon it will be taken away and buried.
It had a good life. We all have memories of important conversations we have had on public payphones, perhaps talking to loved ones from afar whilst the windows of the booth steamed up around us. Now it is obsolete. We have moved on. We communicate from miniature phone booths in our pockets or on other forms of social media, and no longer want to buy cards and queue in the cold before making an important call.
"What would the cinema have been like without me?" it asks. It gave anonymity to the wicked and trapped the innocent. It was the principal character in a film not even ten years ago, but that may as well be ancient history today. It's a washed up old actor now and nobody would give it creedence anymore. Younger, smaller characters have taken over, rapid and mobile and completely disposable. There will be no comeback.
"Look at me" it asks, "take one last long look for soon I will be gone and you won't even remember that I existed. You certainly won't remember what I looked like".
"I will always remember you" I say, "but I don't want to remember you like this".