“It’s like the laws of physics—for every action, there is an opposite and equal reaction. If you go into darkness, the darkness goes into you. You then have to decide what to do with it. How to keep yourself safe from it. How to keep it from hollowing you out.”
In "The Late Show" by Michael Connelly
It isn't polite to look in through other people’s windows. I knew this but still I would do it. It isn't an obsession, it isn't voyeuristic. No. But sometimes things would catch my eye as I walked past. A nice vase, a sleeping cat, a glimpse of a print on a wall, random "stuff" that makes a home a home. I liked to imagine who would surround themselves with these things, what do they look like? How do they live? In one window, I know is a tiny figurine of a young ballet dancer - cheap, pastel, glazed. Nondescript. Given a place of prominence through love.
I once saw the woman who owned that dancer.
It was her feet, the size of her feet. Sitting on the bus, I was just mesmerized by her feet. Spilling over her cheap plastic slip-on shoes. Feet that looked bulbous and par boiled like a body rising from a too hot bath. Veins cracking and breaking under the strain of their burden. Sad, shuffling feet trudging homeward, kicking carrier bags straining under the weight of their contents.
I followed the feet really, not the woman. I honestly don't recall what she looked like. Large I suppose, judging by her feet. Those feet. And, as I passed the door she had disappeared through, I took a glance to the side - there was this little dancer. More delicate in that moment than anything I had seen before.
I walked on and away. I have never been back to that street, but sometimes I think about that figurine and wonder if those feet might dream of dancing. I try not to look in windows any more.