I live in a small apartment that looks out over the back lane and tall brick walls. At night the streets lights glow a pale yellow and I can secretly watch the strange people who walk up and down the lane. I have no need to turn my television on, my next door neighbor, a fat lonely woman who hates company but can be very kind, has her television on all he time, turned up loud. Our walls are very thin so I hear what is happening in there. I hear the news, the movies, the dramas, I hear her rise from her chair and cross to her bathroom, I hear her urinate.
Some nights are busy, some are quiet. Homeless people sleep in the rubbish and doorways below my window. I am glad to be on the high floor so they cannot come too near, but I can still see them. Sometimes, when the moon is pale in the city sky and no one moves about, cats dance on the road below, they sing and leap about. I drop food to them and they look up in thanks.
At night it is just me, my neighbor’s noise, and God. We are all in the tiny room together. I leave the lights off and sit still and breath, witnessing the city wail like a lover, watching the brick walls and on the right morning, I wait for the garbage truck that comes grumbling and screaming at six am to empty the bins and remove the trash. I wonder what the homeless people do on that day? They must know thursday morning belongs to the garbage man.
Some mornings after having sat with the darkness all night I will go to bed and sleep a few hours, but usually I like to walk down to the park, cross the bridge over the lake and visit the gardens they have built along the eastern edge. The gardens represent different places in the world. For England they have grown a Shakespearian garden and that is my favorite.