Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hot Town

Summer makes the city feel even more metropolitan. I think of pictures of New York in the fifties and sixties; the melting streets, lolly-coloured shorts, ice-blocks, hopscotch, and always with the busted fire-hydrant.

Sitting here on the couch, I feel the energy of those pictures. I hear voices from other apartments - yesterday evening an argument - echoing off the walls of the light-well, diffused by the non-stop whirring of the fan. I hear television chatter, and cutlery, and music. We each have our windows open and our blinds up; we are communal.

The impending dark isn't something to race against; its approach is gentle.

Every sound indicates life; everyday life, the kind of life you don't hear when it's cold, and the air is so close, a cough or a laugh won't break it - it simply stretches it, curves it back.

The sounds are unremarkable, except in their intimacy. When else do you hear cooking, or crying, in your own home that isn't from your home? In summer, the rules of privacy in an apartment building bend. Your own life, separate in its own compartment, becomes one of many; your experience becomes one of many, looking up at the same patch of sky at the top of the light-well.

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