Thursday, March 26, 2009

staring out windows

My university years included many hours of sitting and reading poetry, and looking out windows. I was a tireless gazer out of windows. On campus there was a building called 'University College' -- ivy covered brick, long dim hallways down which a cough seemed to travel forever, and a student reading lounge that had a handful of very old, comfortable chairs placed haphazardly in front of floor to ceiling windows. What you saw out these windows was a slow stiff hill descending toward road and bridge. Dividing the hill in two neat sections was a paved walkway, maple and pine trees scattered on either side. In wintertime students could be seen struggling up the hill against cold winds, and falling snow. The view was cinematic, grainy, sad, the figures bundled in weak light nearly heroic. If the roads iced over, you'd see cars swerving and skidding in the distance like toys. Except for the clanging from ancient radiators and occasional whispered conversations between students, the room was perfectly silent. In summer windows were opened, and breezes would bring the aroma of cut grass. The winter was the better season in which to lose oneself for hours in this room.

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