I have a new pastime when going on long walks/drives: stare into random windows in bungalows and buildings and wonder what I’d do if I lived there. Using this pastime of mine as a jumping board, I am trying my hand at creative writing after what seems like forever. None of the windows mentioned are real, because even though I have a photographic memory, I don’t wish to violate anyone’s privacy by using references to actual places.
6:30 pm is the perfect time for a walk at Marine Drive these days. Setting suns throw brilliant colours on the canvas of a sky, and if you’re quirky enough to stand at random places and observe the sky from weird angles, you’ll never be bored despite walking there for years. Another weird hobby of mine is to stare into random windows and wonder what my life would be if I lived there.
French windows and soft yellow lighting. If I lived there, I would play soothing music 24x7 and sway with a gimlet in my hand, and stare out into the wide, wide sea. Hands above my head, stepping into a slow rhythm, wearing a loose cotton summer dress, side-stepping into a twirl, imagining that I’m as elegant as Beth Harmon. I’d switch off the lights, and stare at nothing in particular, just breathe in the salty air.
Four paces by four paces wide. Cutesy, messy herbs flow from the parapet and try to meet their taller friends in the house below, with varying degrees of success. If I lived here, I’d probably stand in the balcony wearing a purple robe, and preach aloud to an invisible audience. About love, and how it favours only the conventionally attractive; about friendships, and how there’s always hope for finding better friends in the future; about hobbies, and how the things you swore you’d never stop loving turn into pastimes you dread talking about.
A small fan on the ceiling. I’d add a nice hammock, and spend some lazy afternoons lying down and reading for hours. Or a table and chair, so I could look all intellectual and cool while writing a new essay. Talking to a friend all night would get more comfortable. Offering a little respite for crows from the heat, I’d throw in a bird feeder and a bowl of cool water and hope they don’t attempt to break through any metaphorical glass ceilings.
In a bungalow, balcony wide enough to host a summery tea party. And that’s exactly what I’d do. Tables full of canapes and iced teas, bruschette and sangrias. Paper boats on string lights, bougainvilleas matching the twilight sky, we’d sail into the night. And me, a Gatsby, holding two drinks in my hand, keeping an eye out towards the gate, waiting for my love interest for the week to turn up. If he does, I’ve been waiting for you, here’s your drink. If he doesn’t, well. There’s next Sunday, and that second glass of wine to keep me company till then.
Dome-shaped window wider than my outstretched hands. Add a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf and keep nothing except a comfy rug and a bean bag and plenty of cushions. Lean back and read. Watch how the shape of the window makes you feel like you’re surrounded by a loving hug of sunshine. Maybe get some stained-glass windows installed instead.
Silhouette of the nearby tree on the balcony wall. I’d sit at the window-sill like an old-timey actress with long hair and a mournful look on my face—moonlight adding a layer of horror, turning my face pale. Nightmares would be born here. Cue the music video of ‘Death of a Bachelor’ and its eerily romantic vibe.
Large and spacious, but unfurnished. Bright nightlamps and a cushy sofa would be perfect here. No doubt they would be havens of dust, but I could live with that. Watching the sunrise creep up towards me inch by inch every morning, holding a mug of coffee in my cold hands would make the effort of vacuuming the allergens away absolutely worth it.