Archive for August, 2014

One of my favourite things is getting home after dark, putting my bike in our garage, and walking back through our flat complex observing all the it up rooms in the different flats, like TV screens into the lives of others, living stacked up on top of each other like a giant jenga set with little people living in the cracks. A blue flickering box in the corner of one room, distant faces glowing in the dark, a girl standing facing out, arm deep in washing up, her silent meditative chore, someone sitting at a table, high up on the third floor, facing into the room, having an indepth discussion. A solitary figure on a sofa, after a hard day at work. I like to think about all those lives, so complex, so different, so full of promise, so mundane, so seeped in scandal. All the possibilities, all the potential…
When I first moved into our flat complex I was excited by the prospect of having these characters living all around me. When I was young I remember watching “Tales of the City” where people would have close relationships with their appartment neighbours; upstairs downstairs, across the hall, left and right. Neighbours would shimmy down the fire escape to catch up on the latest gossip, people would chat in the halls, cooking smells would waft up like creeping flowers up a drainpipe. The romance of being interconnected in a world of shared bricks and mortar was intoxicating to me.
Of course the reality is quite different, we keep ourselves to ourselves, and see new faces backlit at windows and stalking across our manicured lawn.
And I’m glad no one is shimmying up the drainpipe.
But as I walk through the grounds, on my short journey from the garage to my block, when it’s dark and only the moon is lighting up the path, I like to glance left, glance right, see those figures in the windows and imagine the worlds living so closely together before I turn the key in my lock, open my front door and step into my own…

flat at night


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