Looking into other people's houses while walking on dark evenings. There are few things which will bring such a feeling of omniscience to the human being. All the lives, puddling about in their individual living rooms, lives lived, in real time, better than the web. If they minded a walk past glimpse, they'd shut the curtains.
A pair of bare feet, a man. Watching TV? Listening to music? Having a migraine? Relaxed? Asleep? Dead? I think not, too pink. All the questions in those bare feet, stacked one on top of the other on the arm of the couch. Perhaps she's out at the WI. No tapping, not moving. No other part of him visible. Just his clean bare feet. They look smooth and well cared for. Those relaxed feet. Plump pad of big toe making me smile. As I walk to the next window.
Old lady at a baby grand, giving it her all. Focus, years of practice, playing for pleasure, the respite from the plod of lessons? Her life's passion in those keys? In the notes that I can't hear? What is she playing I wonder? Given her dÃ©cor, Tchaikovsky is my guess. Her clothes belie her passion. Tweed and passion. Why are they incompatible, after a certain age. I do like a man in a sorts jacket I must admit. But those blue Scottish mist tweedy skirts. I will never own one, if I live to get the telegram.
Next door, a man, blue face from his computer screen, the only light in the room. Dressed in black, wants to be taken seriously. Too slim to wear it for any other reason.
The lit up building. Who's idea was that, don't they know there's an energy crisis? Violets and greens light up the facades of solicitor's and architect's offices of an evening. They look like the Munsters live there. Perhaps they stop thieves.
Round the corner, people watching telly, the only light source in the room making it look like an aquarium. They stare, goggle-eyed like fish.
A woman ironing, a man shaving, a couple kissing, another fighting. All the lives on display.
The only room I'd like to go into is the crimson dining room. It's on the upper floor of a two storey house. Crimson red walls, white drapery, never closed. Chandeliers, the works. Victorian picture rail and above pure white, to match the drapes and give perfect proportions. They have knocked the side bedroom into the main bedroom to create it. A dining table the whole length of the small room. I'd love to go in, just for a moment. The kind of dinner party to which you could only wear black, white or red. Lobster and champagne the only thing to be served. Anything else would clash.
Perhaps that's why there's never anyone in there.
Even though the lights are always on.