Friday, June 28, 2013

Wall of Windows

In San Francisco I had one blind that I raised and lowered every day. It was in the bedroom. There was a window in the living room, which opened on an air shaft and my neighbors could see in if they wanted to look but most of them kept their blinds pulled. I used to like to open the back door and watch people walking down Powell but if the door wasn't open there was no way for anyone to see into my apartment from the street.
One of the best things about the nest is the wall of windows. But I do live on a down town street. There are shops and restaurants and people walking by at all hours. The question of when I lower the blinds is a daily quandary. I like having them open but I am a bit on display. There's nothing to see really and most people are looking into shop windows. I am not not overly concerned. But the other night I stood up and it felt like I looked straight into the eyes of a woman eating on the patio across the street. She may have been looking at my plants or just the architecture. She may not have been looking at all. It just felt like I stood up into her view.
There is a transom-ish part of the window above which I leave the blinds lowered at all times. Nice that they work that way. I seem to have arrived at a system. The first blind I open in the morning is the one by the bookshelf and near where my desk will ultimately be. It's in a corner. There are plants in front of it. It feels obscured. The second one I open is at the other end. The table is there and I've eaten on it but lately I've been eating on the corner of my butcher block. When I was eating there I felt on display, somewhat. It wasn't a big deal but it was a little weird. In any case now I open it and if anyone looks up they may see me scrambling my eggs. Oh well. And last of all the middle, which is also a door with a Juliet balcony. I love opening it and looking up and down the street. But it is right in front of the hallway and I suppose if you were at just the right spot, at just the right moment you might see me walking from the bathroom to the bedroom in my towel. Probably not but I open it last. At night the pattern falls apart. I resist closing them at all.
Morning in Hood River is quiet. I live above a coffee shop so I see people clutching their cups on the street but not many. The day brings out the folks. Some seem like tourists. They travel in groups and look all around them. Others seem like locals. Walking dogs. Pushing strollers. As the evening arrives the restaurant patios fill up. I've been told the summer is busier and in the winter it will get really quiet.
Mom has the blind raising and lowering ritual firmly in place. It always seemed a bit hyper to me.
I like walking past someone's window and catching a glimpse of their life. Especially in the city. Not in any prurient or invasive way but just a glimpse of life.
There's a clear blue sky tonight. Not many people on the street but lots of cars. I think I'll wait until the street lights come on.

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