I like to go up to the roof sometimes, when the weather's mild. I like to look around, observe, and contemplate the scene.
Strange, that I seem to have so much time on my hands in this stage of my life. I guess I used to be more restless. I didn't used to like being idle, though I spent a lot of my life forced into it. It wasn't healthy back then, for it seemed to produce negative outcomes like black thoughts, pent up anger and nervousness.
I suppose I was forced to sit still and think whenever finances limited my resources and therefore my choices of activities; that is in previous episodes of my life. I used to feel trapped when circumstances sort of kept me suspended. I wanted to rebel at the circumstances, but it was futile. I remember that kind of strained and grey calm of the aftermath of various crises, when it seemed like there was so much against me.
Well, all that has passed. Now, my spare time is a luxury. Now, it's a product of success: financial stability due to steady meaningful and enjoyable employment bring the rewards of emotional and intellectual satisfaction, new social associations, plus leisure time and new leisure activities.
Still, I do try to stick to a budget. Never mind, because enjoyment of a simple lifestyle and appreciation of little things in life have always been my thing, really. Nowadays, I enjoy quiet moments of solitude as I did in my youth. It is a kind of freedom. It allows me to think and imagine.
It's even better in the more advanced years of life, because one has all that history with it's lessons of life and social awareness to feed thought. I am free to think creatively and, at last, I'm free to write in the way I have always wanted.
Watching and reading fiction, as well as real life stories amuse me and help to nurture my mind, to be sure. When I'm tired of that, though, I like to get outdoors. Some evenings, I just have to go up to the roof of my apartment building. I relish that kind of space. No-one else's needs or perspective interferes, then. I indulge myself in listening to my own voice in my ear as I survey the environment for clues of nature and humanity.
Yes, I am still on a quest. I never know why or what I'm seeking. I guess I just like the process and the discovery that often pops up.
I like to go up to the roof at dusk. It's a quiet time, a phase between the hub-bub of the day's business and the vices and indulgences of the night. I don't understand the various other means of self-decompressing that many people appear to engage in, which are various methods of excessive consumption.
At dusk, I look out in the half light. I cast my eye down toward the street and see people going about their day's end tasks. There's a woman here or a man there toting a small shopping cart. There's someone with a plastic bag full of new purchases peering into the bag to review what he's bought. Cats begin to peer out from behind corners with temerity. People on bicycles whiz by, coattails flapping. A taxi cruises through, probably having just dropped off someone in this neighbourhood and hoping to scoop up a new fare. Pairs of companions of some sort or another stroll leisurely as they talk. A tired-looking figure in a black suit plods heavily along, toting a heavy briefcase.
I gaze out at the rooftops around me trying to detect anyone stirring. Hah! There's a silhouetted young woman stepping out of the stairwell onto the roof who stretches a bit before launching into a quick strut back and forth, making only 12 high-stepping strides each way. She barely lasts five minutes!
I don't smoke but sometimes I take a cigarette or two up there. It's something to do and sucking on the cigarette helps me think.
I peer over at the place where my colleague used to live, but no sign of life is there now. I miss being able to spy on her a bit.
I review the shops around my building. There's the dog soup-slash-ginger chicken soup place that's so popular. There's the stuffed cramped quarters of the local drycleaner's that may or may not return your item on the due date, depending on the mistress' own idea of priorities. There's the new hardware store where the 30-somethings couple with the wailing child have just opened. No doubt, the wailing child doesn't like being farmed out to relatives and neighbours so that his mother and father can perform duties in the shop.
Up on the apartment towers above me, colored light burst onto the scene and start to flash. Sometimes I imagine that the people who want to put lights in such places have tried to compete with the galaxies, perhaps trying to find their own mark in the sky. Or, perhaps they have tried to create their own lucky stars in the city that can be so kind one moment, and so mean another.
Then, the sky is dark, though clouds can be seen hovering because the city lights are reflected on them in a faint orangish glow. More bright lights flash around me, and the noise grows. It's time to go back into my refuge.