Looking In

As I walk, I look in through the windows of the houses beside me.  In the dark, their light appears warm, cozy compared to that of the cold street lamps.  Through the foggy windows I see the outlines of lamps and sofas, tables and kitchens.  All the accoutrements that come with a home.  Somehow, I don’t see any people.  I wonder where they are.

I pause at the crosswalk, then refrain from turning down my street.  I continue straight through the dark, looking in at the houses looking out at me.  I wonder about all the people who have lived in them, at all the scenes, domestic and dramatic, they have been witness to.  My tilting steps send me whirling, and I look behind me, just for a moment, just on a whim, and wonder what footsteps have walked this path before, the heaviness, the lightness, the indifference.  I rearrange my footsteps into a more regular pattern.

Turning down a side street I begin a circle back to my apartment.  These houses are more melancholy, somehow.  Or maybe just more mundane?  Looking at them, I can see how worn they have become with simple living.  One doesn’t need to have a hard life to be worn out.  My feet slow as I look in.

I wonder what if I could look in the apartments of my brothers and sisters, my friends.  Would I see them prosaically living, fighting over dishes, eating dinner?  Would they be like me, weary and dull after a long day of work?  Would they be fighting with roommates and lovers?  Or would they be like me, fighting with their own self?  I stop walking.

With a sigh I begin walking again, not looking in, not looking out, just looking forward.

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