301 Moved Permanently

301 Moved Permanently


How to Make Friends in the City

My accidental hobby is meeting eyes with the guests in the window of the six-hundred-dollar

hotel room across from my apartment, just a narrow urban canyon away. It started


with the suited man who, with his phone, was fiddling with the cream-coloured curtains,

his blue eyes dark, watery holes. He saw me pause while making Greek salad,


and we both blushed, looked away. I closed the blinds, but later, I peeked to see him asleep

with the light on. When I am doing yoga, in downward dog position, I wonder if my ass


up in the air can be seen next door. I think about putting on a dance show, with red and yellow

lights and a sequined dress. I no longer change shirts in the living room but on


slow evenings I skim through the microscopic slides of others’ lives.

There are birthday parties with champagne glasses that fall off the windowsill and into the canyon,


shattering into sharp confetti. My roommate once stole through the window a politician’s Kermit Chia

Pet and I made her put it back. We are wondering if we should report the murder we saw last


week while playing Go Fish; we heard a scream and we saw a red handprint left on the glass.

There once was a redhead with a slinky blue gown who blinked at me and returned to her


cigarette, blowing smoky rings, as if I were a brief glare on her windshield. Often the occupants

are staring, and our eyes lock like neighbour Betta fish, unsure if this is a mirror or an enemy.



How to Make Friends in the City

Photo by Derek von Essen.


from subTerrain #72


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