Goldfishes in the opposite building
It must sound so strange, but I like watching other people's life. For
instance, I'm interested in somebody in the window of opposite building.
I often glance somebody's daily life which is glimpsed through the gap
in the vertical space of the city.
In Hongkong, I could look over the opposite building across the Nathan
Road from my room on the 15th floor. Because of the re-developing area, I saw a lot of vacant room in the building.
However I could see the people's daily life in the lighted windows. A cauterization
clinic, lawyer's office, apartment room of elder people... micro cosmoses
scattering over the windows.
I had stayed in the room of Hongkong for just 4 days. But if you live in
those situations for longer time, you can make "a window mate".
For me who had not have experience living in a high story building in the
city before, my apartment on the 8th floor in New York gave me the first one, for instance.
I could see the vacant room of the opposite building from my window. Before
long, the room changed to a hair salon. A fat black woman cut the customer's
hair having comb and scissors. Then it's back to vacant room before a year
When I looked down the lower floor of the building, I saw a study of young
couple's apartment. Every night when the husband was reading book at the
desk, his wife brought him a coffee. Then she put her hand on his shoulder,
and kissed him.
Looking a little bit farther away, I saw the window of office room. There
were many book shelves in the room. Bunches of document files were piled
up on the window side. And classic fan was placed beside it. It might be
a library of company. But I had not known what the room was to the end.
Before long, I got communicate with the neighbors over the street. High
adobe the busy street, our conversation was just small talk. However I
had several window mates like this. Maybe we couldn't recognize each other
if we met on the street. So we knew each other only in the window flame.
I called them "Window mates"
I don't like heavy crowds in the city. City is too busy for human watching.
However the other people's life which I can see from my window does not
force me to look.
It's like glancing a goldfish in the basin. And a wonderful point of this
goldfish watching is it makes me recognizing I am also a goldfish in the
basin of big city.
" Microcosmos " HongKong, China 2006
Winter Garden South, the trump card vol.2