Oct 1, 2002

I'm a voyeur. Autumn evenings make it so easy. People don't always close their drapes.

I look in the windows of the apartment buildings on my walk and see pieces of life and variations in taste. One children's room in one apartment is painted red. The sibling's room is bright yellow. I wonder how well they sleep. In another apartment, the walls between the children's rooms has been knocked down. In their place is a Victorian-inspired sitting room, crowded with paintings and knick-knacks. The walls are soft green and the couch is dark red velvet. What catches my eye is the bright green mushroom-shaped lamp which is always on. One little girl's room of 6 square meters is crammed with young feminity: Soft pink walls, round mirror with white whicker frame, bed with white chiffon draping, dainty figurines covering the white chest of drawers, teddy bear occupying a whole corner. Other rooms I see on my walk show average sloppiness: half-closed drapes; an ironing board leaning against the window; clothes draped over a chair; books in a pile on a shelf; a poster breaking lose from the wall, one corner at a time. Two apartments almost a building apart have the exact same curtains in the bedroom.

There are sounds, too. Voices that penetrate the glass of closed windows. Someone bangs a pot in the kitchen. From one open bedroom window I hear a guitar being strummed. From another, a flute is played with errors. Music practice.

I love autumn. In the dark, the lit rooms of complete strangers become my own personal entertainment. In the dark, the lit rooms glow with warmth and welcome. Makes me wish they weren't all strangers.