There are three windows in the living room — one large one we semi-affectionately call the bus window as it faces onto our semi-ratty front porch, also known as “the bus shelter” — and two small ones, up high on the south-facing wall. We call those the subway windows. Partly because their position reminds me of my last basement apartment, and partly for transit-themed symmetry.
All three are unfinished. Just the windows sitting inside their frames, held notionally in place by a few exposed nails, gravity and their own sense of attachment to this space. It didn’t make sense to finish windows that were due to be replaced. It didn’t make sense to invest in any “window treatments,” either. Every morning, we carefully fold in the bottom corners of the pillow case shades that cover the subway windows and lift the tidy trapezoidal hems, tucking them in at the top to let in the abundant light. I’m sure there’s an energy bill upside to replacing them, and an aesthetic reward in installing proper blinds, but I’ll miss that gentle, quotidian origami.
Along the front wall, facing west, is the bus window. As wide as my arms outstretched — six feet, give or take a few inches — and nearly, but not quite, square. The top two-thirds are covered with a dusty, accordion-pleated paper shade, held in place by upholstery tacks and double-sided tape. Tiny exposed finishing nails dot the perimeter. I have the nagging sense that it was my job to hammer those back in, and I never did. Along the sides and across the top of the window there is an inch-wide stripe of expanding foam, once nearly white but now sliced and aged to the colour of sponge toffee. If you run your finger down it, it squeaks — a fragile, high-pitched styrofoam sound. If you lick it, your mother yells at you and tells you to quit being weird.
The post above was written in response to this week’s writing challenge, the devil is in the details: “Take any person, place, or event, and write three paragraphs describing your subject in great detail.”