From from my window

My new apartment is light, its ceilings are tall and it is painted not-quite-white. The floors are polished tiles, smooth under foot, and turning us into a family who leaves their shoes at the door.

I am surprised to find that I like the air conditioner’s permanent hum. On or off, the air conditioner hums, the wind whistling through the pipes to someone else’s room. But it is an even sound and my brain looks for it as soon as I wake and, having found it, lets it rest inside of me. A kind of industrial om.

This apartment asks so little of me. The colours are shades of brown which neither delight nor offend. The doors all fit, the drawers all glide. The glasses, plates and forks are not in the style that I would choose, but they are there waiting to be used. They do not need to be unwrapped or found in a store.

The lounge is not as comfortable as the one I left behind, but it is big enough that I can sit or lie, one boy on my legs, another under my arm, and we can read Dog Star or Mr Gum or Lion Boy.

At night, I can rest against the windowsill and look out over a city which asks only that I make myself a day to day life. It asks me for no contribution beyond that. It does not expect me to understand.

In another time, this might (this would) trouble me. But for now, it is all (it is exactly) what I need. A bubble of time and space I can use to repair my strength and to work out what I have learned. And I can write. For six hours a day if I like.

We have no garden, two bedrooms, a small bathroom, and six thin cupboards between us.

It is not where I would have looked in my search for a room of my own.