There have always been windows, where I can look out. We never had a house, and I always wanted but never had a window seat, with pillows and thick glass. We lived in many apartments and my favorite one had two floors; I got the whole attic to myself. The one window that didn't have an air conditioner stuffed crudely in it faced the amusement park a block away, the green sea of a miniature golf course between us. I slid my bed up against it and watched the repetition of lights, the rise and fall of lit up rides, hearing the screams of single voices meshed together , the sound of summer . I was always looking out, staring out into some expanse where the trees and the roller coaster skeleton opened up, but I could never see the stars for the sodium lights. You have to get outside to see stars, I've learned, but that didn't matter then, and doesn't to this day.

When I lived in a hotel between moves, my room had these oddly long and skinny windows, side by side . All I could see was the parking lot below, the iron fence lining the corner, one traffic light. Again, the trees and orange street lights blotted out everything but a mist that rolled in each night, layering the sight like gauze. I had no doorbell there and no phone, so the only way someone below could get my attention was to toss a pebble to my window and hope that I was home. So often I'd leave them open, and for a spell, I played a certain song hoping this one guy would ride along on his bike, recognize the tune, and respond. He never did, and I knew he wouldn't, but I was hopeful. Hope is one of those things windows seem to bring out in me, a patient anticipation of the improbable.

My current home has no real windows to speak of, an attic again, but with small boxes without sills punched into angled walls and mostly stuffed with air conditioners and black blinds. In order to stare out, I'd need to step out onto my porch, and if I did, there would be that expanse I hadn't had before. I am the highest thing around save for telephone poles and the church down the street. But it's not the same as a window, having that false sense of protection , the idea of seeing from the other side of a portal , which is how it's always been to me.

There is one thing I've wanted to happen but hasn't yet. I would like to be sitting somewhere, as I do, in front of a window overlooking the sidewalk, and have someone come up to it from the outside and hold their hand to the glass with an open palm. Not knocking or tapping, not making sharp sounds to get my attention, but simply to put up their hand, to which I would reflect in my own outstretched palm . As though the glass wasn't even there, yet it allowed us an intimacy that otherwise may have gone untested , ruled out, as a form of connection. The sad thing is that the only time I've seen that done is in movies, when people are saying goodbye: train and bus stations, airports and taxis . No one ever seems to do it to say hello , to say anything that is meant to continue . This is one sad and strikingly human trait of windows: that they let so much out by their transparency yet are able to convey things through the barriers they create. And that we, too often, are barred by the same limits that frame them in.

Some people use their notebooks as confessionals. Others use them as launching pads- a place to send out dreams; to shoot off fantasies.

My notes are descriptions (scraps of paper generally, not even a notebook). They are a track record of places and people. Much more a window than a mirror, and therefore much more about what surrounds me, as opposed to what is in me . Like the piece above me I am constantly looking out and taking it in.

It is all external: What I remember, what stays with me and what I write about it. The small details of every day are always more interesting than anything I might be troubled with or preoccupied with at the moment. The fact that there is fiction interwoven into the "true life" history should be implied. If it is not then I suppose this a declaration of that as well.

What exactly is the point? Well I suppose the point is at least one thing:
Writing on this side of the screen is not a mirror of my world. It is much more a narrative description of the world as I see it. I know to some it reads as notes from a lab with a microscope: discussions of minutiae. To others I hope it is more a plate glass window. A clear description of the small pieces of the world. Pieces I am trying to blend together as a mosaic. Like Templeton I am inviting you to put your hand to the glass. Let me know if you can feel it.

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