My window is large. It’s wide and short, a landscaped pigeon hole to the world outside.
In front of me lie two white, crickety tables. They’re dirty, old plates sat upon them; coffee cups with the remnants of that flat white. Above the tables, I can see the pavement. It’s dysfunctional, gaping with cracks and cigarette buts. But it’s busy. At this time of day, on a Wednesday, there’s a mix of people. There are old ladies, with their clear rain caps on, shielding their perfectly permed hair from the elements. She’s thinking about the meal she’ll eat tonight, probably alone. The over-50 men; they carry canvas tote bags, sometimes have a satchel, always with a newspaper tucked under their elbow, walking with such purpose. He’s preparing for a date tonight; buying the nice wine. The students, in crowds of five or six, with rucksacks and converse. They buy exotic salads and complain that they contain only one grain. I wonder what they study; arts, maybe literature.
Waitrose sits across the road, a steady stream of customers pouring in, and out. Some with coffee cups in their hands; we both know that coffee was free. I’m never in this spot, at this time, on this day. I wonder if these people are usually here too? I usually sit at a desk, in a high office building, at the mercy of my telephone, my email account. If my phone rings, I must answer. If an email appears in my inbox, I must respond. It’s tiresome.
Today though, I sit with no plans. Nowhere to be. No one to see. It’s refreshing. I ate a breakfast of french toast with bacon, and maple syrup. On my own. My phone was face down on the table, my laptop only showing the news websites I subscribe to. I hated asking for the wifi password; I feel cheeky. And instantly ashamed that I need an electronic device to be able to sit alone. Next time, I’m not taking anything with me. Maybe just a newspaper. I really miss newspapers.
What can you see from your window?