• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 11
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I stand outside a three-storey building. An open window on each floor presents a blind eye open to the street. Interiors exposed, ceiling lights dab the walls in one apartment with lavender, rose in another. The bulbs under plastic shades soften the dark huddled in the far corners into milky gray tints.

Each room, one above the other, recedes as my eye angles over the bottom window ledge. I peer inside one cubicle, then the next, as my gaze rises, from one floor to the next. Each storey, a new level, a new tangent, partitions space, bisects planes on the slant, forces me to see distinct aspects of the room.

Outside where I stand, at eye level, one window alone is not empty. It opens to an aquatic blue, a virtual aquarium of celebrants inside. Framed by the rectangular window, I watch these figures cast from a 1950s billboard, flanked by shadows larger than themselves. They cluster amid furniture within the circumference of the white light from the ceiling fixture, three lamps that spotlight and interrogate their withdrawal from the dark and empty space around them.

I enter the building. I turn away from the first-floor apartment, the muted conversations of strangers, the close press of bodies. Resolved, I climb the stairs, drawn to the soft lavender solitude of my own thoughts.