kaffy_r (kaffy_r) wrote,

Watching the World

(NOTE: because LJ is being petty and refusing to crosspost from Dreamwidth, and will probably be doing so for the foreseeable future, I'm manuallly reposting, so this is a little late.)

I've watched the world for a living for decades. And although most of that observation took place via meeting coverage, interviews with people, poring through various budgets or zoning reports - all the what-have-yous of small town dailies or large city suburban weeklies - some of it was spent looking out windows. In that, I'm fairly certain I share a habit with bored or dreaming students, office workers, and travelers.

At various times, in various offices, looking out windows afforded me blossoming fruit trees, bleak and muddy rain-soaked parking lots, blizzards, thunderstorms, and the joy of watching a construction crane build a *thinks* 12-plus storey building. (That, by the way, was wonderful. I was disappointed when the building was complete and the crane disappeared. It was one of those cranes that has an elevator in it that carries the operator to his cab atop the machine. So cool!)

At the tail end of my career, say for the last five years, I watched the world from a home office in our tiny condo. We live at ground level and our home fronts on one of the sidewalks of our street. The office is in one corner of the condo, so it has two windows immediately adjacent to each other, one facing south and one facing west. Both of them have bars on them, an inescapable accessory of city living, which have slowly rusted over our years here. The bars are very wide, and allow for an almost uninterrupted view of the world outside, since I placed my desk right at the corner of the office, under the windows.

Our condo is also built slightly below ground, since it was created out of a basement area. The nice thing about living ever-so-slightly below ground is that, with an easy adjustment of my blinds, I can look out and people don't even notice - at least not people older than two or three; toddlers can, and do, peer into the office. They used to do it even more when our cats were alive and apt to sun themselves on the windowsills.

So here I've sat over the past half decade or more; I watch people pass by, walking and running. I've watched birds and squirrels eat birdseed under the tree that grows caty-corner to my western window. (The grounds person for the condo association recently told the lovely lady who feeds the birds not to do it. I'm pissed, because there's no reason for her to do so, other than her dislike of small, non-grass colored seeds. I'd wondered why I wasn't seeing our Cardinal couple this spring.  *growls* But, as always, I digress.)

Throughout all those years, Bob's been in the same office, seated at his two-desk, two-screen set up, which faces north and east, next two his racks of sound and computer equipment. We've been happy in each other's company, most recently sharing news articles that I read to him, and Twitter messages we read to each other. I've used him as a dictionary; he's copy-edited my fics, and listened to me rant about the world or the grey-hair-inducing new Trib union members, or, in the horrid year before I retired, about my Worst Editor in The World.

We've been happy. Almost too happy, actually; we've been all too willing to become hermits, living through our screens and with each other for company. In my case, I have the actual world sitting above the laptop screen, and playing out in front of me.

Now we're faced with a world that has largely, and correctly, tried to self-isolate in the age of COVID-19, and people are dealing with an isolation they are definitely not used to. I feel almost guilty for not sharing their feelings. Are there other happy (or at least tranquil) hermits out there who feel anything like that?
Tags: covid-19, meanderings


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