One feels that one is supposed to look out of windows, not into them. At my 9th-floor office at my family's small HR consulting firm, where I now work, my desk faces the window. When I look out, which I do a healthy bit of (it's a better quick break than Facebook, I think), I see only stacked rows of other windows, fourteen columns wide, framed in white panels, squares and rectangles . The windows belong to the Westin Hotel across the street. Besides a thin sliver of blue sky on either side, hotel windows and white panels are all I can see. My window is tinted; the ones facing me are not. Reader, I look into them.
As you can see from the picture, most of the windows are fully shaded, but the odd five or six are not. You can see the ghost of my telephone and some wires on my desk. Normally, the space between the curtains is, from my view, an impenetrable black rectangle, but at least once a day, a figure fills part of the space, though rarely for very long. Once, there were a gaggle of children who seemed to climb up the curtains until a girl who I took to be the eldest sister came forward to manage them. She stood, looking out, as the siblings calmed themselves.
Once there was a couple gathering their things, but most people appear alone. There have been some who close the curtains, usually identifiable as service staff; others gaze out. At least four times, the gazers have been buck naked.
I have so much affection for them. What are they doing at 11am or 2pm naked in a hotel room on a Thursday, staring out the window at what I know to be a limited view? Maybe nothing spectacular, but still they have taken a moment to be unclothed, unready to rejoin the workaday world just yet. So they look out the window.
It isn't much. The view out is impoverished. They won't see a whole hell of a lot. Though a bird could fly past. Something could drop from the sky. Or they could feel some emotion, or have an idea. Or a memory. I'm proud of them. They are open to something that, if they stared only at their phones, and got dressed right away so they could bustle around and leave the room, they might not otherwise find.
Think about that. Honor it.