Friday, April 29, 2011
I am standing in the kitchen of a small apartment. I am leaning against the cool metal siding of a stainless steel sink embedded in a long white Formica countertop. The sink is clean and shiny, all remnants of past meals and dishes have long ago been scrubbed, dried and put in their spots behind white painted cupboards.
There is a window behind the sink. A crystal clear single-pane window that is uncluttered by curtains or shades. In perfect view is the gray cement rooftop of a tall red brick building across the street. It is so close I could jump from the window onto its sun-baked roof.
Two men sit on the cement, looking at each other, blocking the sun from their eyes with the aid of their cupped hands. Sunlight covers their legs and arms, brushing their already tanned skin. Just behind them are two wooden patio chairs which they have ignored, worn but well maintained red wood that lets off waves of glimmering heat.
Along the edges of the rooftop are red and pink geraniums in evenly spaced wide terracotta pots. The colorful petals are illuminated like stained glass, glowing in the afternoon light.
The sunlight streaming into the kitchen has taken on a pale blue color, verging on ice. The few appliances on the countertop are muted and fuzzy, seeming almost ghostly in shape and color.
To my right is a man. I can’t see his face, though I can see that his hair is dark and short, his skin is olive and tan. He wears red running shorts that reach his knees and a long white T-shirt that is baggy and slightly wrinkled. His eyes are fixed on the roof, at the two men sitting on the cement rooftop, on the one in red running shorts and a baggy white T-shirt.
Down the hallway from the kitchen is an open sliding glass door. A warm, yet slightly cool breeze blows through the open doorway. The wind plays with my hair. A black dog runs in circles on the balcony, barking excitedly in intervals to things I cannot see. The balcony is a mixture of sunlight and speckled shade. Any view from the high-rise apartment is blocked by tall, leafy trees and the thick interweaving vines that wrap around their boughs.