Saturday, October 23, 2010

through the picture windows

The sun sulked all day, clouded and cloistered behind curtains that never really opened. Now he's exiting through stage west and siphoning light from the sky. Day gurgles and sucks as it empties down the drain.

Now a walk. At dusk. My favorite time of day. When everything curls in upon itself and the living room lights turn front windows into literal picture windows, soft still lifes in this gallery of a neighborhood.

They're watching TV in there. The screen blinks blues and grays against the wall. And here, a woman looks out at me. I keep my dog off her lawn. In that bedroom, the wall speaks. S - A - M, it says, under a ceiling fan that flickers the overhead light. The open closet door exposes clothes standing single file. On the next street, in that dim dining room, vases and crocks and pitchers and urns strike poses on the shelves. A silent collection presiding over a silent house. And way back there, in that house set so close to the lake, all the lights are dark. There must be so many curtains to draw.

Now I'm at the foot of my own driveway, looking into the picture that is my life.  I can see the green walls and a kitchen chair backed away from the table. Kids smile in frames above the couch. But from the road, I can't hear the happy shrieks that are surely coming from the basement. I can't see the man standing at the sink, washing the dishes. I can't see the tornado of toys all over the floor -- the remains of the day.

But I know it's all there. And I'm ready to walk back inside. Into this moving life.