The view from my window is different. I’m typically not a fan of change. So I did not change rooms with an open mind. But as I stretch out across the bed, in the tiny room, with the air conditioner cooling my feet, I stare out into the space between the buildings.
In the morning, water drips in front of the window from an unknown source upstairs. At least, I think it’s water.
In the full sun of the afternoon, the downstairs neighbor has taken off his shirt and is doing yard work. I don’t feel too bad about staring, because his person has a penis. Guiltless pleasure.
Dusk begins early between the buildings. Time is deceptive in this city. A swarm of confused fireflies make their appearance, and I am mesmerized. The trees look like Christmas… full of twinkly lights… and suddenly I am 8 years old in the backyard of my grandparents house in Pittsburgh, holding a jar with holes poked into the lid. My grandmother helps me capture a few unlucky lightning bugs to keep next to my bed until morning. They will join a praying mantis who I’m certain is named Ivan or Savannah. I head upstairs to a room that belonged to my Dad while he was growing up, complete with a box full of his old toys. I can still picture the view out of that window. That was Dad’s view. Even then, I remembered thinking it was special.
A siren and flashing lights fly down the street past an open living room window, and I am jolted back to the present. I am laying on my belly, and I shift slightly. Something is poking me. It doesn’t take long to discover the sharp point of a Cheez-It that has managed to make its way into my bra and is doing enough damage to leave a mark. As I remove the shard, it occurs to me that the half-eaten bag I brought back from the airport is still in the kitchen. I stand up, stretch, and make my way the five and a half steps it takes to get to the kitchen. I pour a glass of wine and take my snack into the living room to watch the assortment of people walking up and down the street while the light fades to dark.
I assume the fireflies have given up, since there’s really no such thing as black here. But I appreciate their effort in lieu of stars.
A full day has come and gone. I tell myself I want to go to bed at a decent hour, but every cell in my body laughs at that, and I know I will listen to the city until 3 am.
I can question my productivity, but I choose not to.
Standing, sitting, walking, drinking, eating, talking, listening, reading and writing. I am truly in my happy place.