Window


It is possible, it is possible, that I was there on purpose. What else could there be, other than the possibility that it was intentional? I didn’t sleep walk, I never have, even though I have sometimes awoken in, what I believed, was a different bed than where I had fallen asleep. But that was purely forgetfulness, rather than a slumbering promenade from one end of the city to the other. No, I remember every moment of the night. Being awake, that is. I remember all of my waking moments, and it was intentional, I have got to admit that, to you, and to myself also. I did not trip over, hit my head on some stone and black out, causing me to walk and walk with no awareness of it whatsoever. In some ways I wish that was the case. If that was true, then I couldn’t surely be held accountable for ending up there, intentionally looking up at the window.

I was standing there, of my own accord, no crafty ghoul or demon tricking me, leading me through the nightly streets, forcing my legs to move one and then the other, as it usually goes, arms swinging at my sides, tugging me across the overpass above the motorway. No, there was no force, gust of wind, or holy order that pushed me across that bridge, twisting my neck to look down at the stream of cars gushing past like the unstoppable current of a river in whose depths fish and sea creatures swam and fought and loved all the same. We’d walked here times before, with wind slapping about as it did so now, a hand once clutched in the dark now just a cold railing. It was not, as I’d wish it was, a wrong turn, a misdirection, a mis-step. I crossed that bridge, descended the steps into the murky undergrowth of the flyover, and walked myself, purposefully, further towards that spot.

It was the perfect time, if perfection is anything to strive for, to unbutton my trousers and relieve myself of urine since I was bursting for a piss oh sweet lord. The undergrowth was perfect cover, although it was dark besides, and I probably could have squatted in any which what where place I’d liked. Not many souls would have seen, but all the more I enjoyed the solitude, despite the dog shit underneath my pissing place that I had not previously noticed in the dark, but smell it I did. It was soon done, no matter, and I pulled up my pants, and also my trousers, with only some piss dripping through. I have admitted it, I have come to terms with it, and I was not under any delusions that this was in fact my own will, this walking hither and thither, or just thither. Every second I was conscious, I was conscious, unlike waking from what seemed like dreams in beds that were not my own. They loomed often, out of shadowy corners, and I carried on my way, for I was not so far, yet what I would do once there was still unknown to me. To talk of choice throws up a question that sputters and spits. It would surely never be, unless it could, be a choice— amidst the unpleasantness and anguish that rattled in my stomach as I descended from the path— to see in my minds eye her face, unrelentingly, then, and in nights too.

The street was covered in pigeon squits and I knew I was almost near. The same shops stood, the same metro station, the same church with its lit up cross. Blue light permeating mine eyes. I for a moment thought to stop— was it guilt, the unease that was bubbling up inside me waiting to be expulsed? Probably gas. I walked on still. It was all locked in the back of my skull, all this, images flitting by of these streets I’d roam with her. That bar. Her face crept out often, I tried to quench it but there it was. Yet I did in some ways find a pleasure in it, in seeing its glinting eyes, hers I might say, even though it had become so surely an entity in its own self that I could no longer be sure if it was her. Shouts and peeling laughter rippled through the night air as I walked, and I wasn’t certain if I even remembered her face, her real face, in all that it was now, this moment, cigarette smoke puffing out under a pale streetlight, rather that the one that pressed itself into my vision and sometimes smiled, but often smirked. It was difficult to tell.

Sleeping and waking, while remembering which bed I had closed my eyes in, and whether it was the same as where I woke up— that was often an uncertainty. Fracturing it was, yet could a person, as in me, ever be sure? It was forgetfulness, sure enough, and forgetful I was becoming in whether her eyes were like this or that, whether her hair fell one way or another, and her smell, that was uncertain too. Those beds I’d woken up in, not quite being sure of when or how I had got there, often flung into sharp clarity the fact that they were not her bed, and those who I awoke beside had not her eyes, her hair, her smell. I could barely even catch a whiff of it however hard I tried to remember, only their whiffs coming forth and wafting before me. Of what I cannot be certain, but not her, and not at all unlike rotten soup. Perhaps that is why I, of my own accord, all my own self’s doing, found myself here, outside of her very window, looking up thusly. No light shone out. It was late, albeit very late, or early, depending on who, or what, you believe. But I lingered there, like a bad smell, underneath the indifferent pane of glass.