Window Pains

The Boy Outside

A chilling wave of cold air doused her lukewarm ambitions as the ritualistic shuffle from el dormitorio to the small bathroom commenced. An antiquated, and unimaginably sensitive thermostat unit relegated the daily existence of the middle-aged couple within the thin, polished pearl walls that six hundred and forty square feet affords. City living aside, the beautiful foliage and salamander green soccer field within earshot of their apartment drowned the comings and goings of hurried neighbors. 

She snuggled into the warm Milagro robe while gingerly walking towards el cuarto de baño. Relatively small, yet immaculately sanitized, the repurposed space played host to numerous titles; library, writing center and brainstorming mecca, to name a few. A midnight rainfall showered freshly mowed grass blades while the newlyweds slumbered, fashioning unsightly clumps of debris throughout the courtyard.

I walked into the bathroom and noticed a scraping noise directly beneath the window. It was shocking because the courtyard is typically silent in the mornings, except for the birds and occasional car passing by.

Selma Bastoine

Peering from behind a makeshift veil of secrecy, or shower curtain for amateur sleuths, she carefully stepped into the marble bathtub and glanced downwards. 

It was a little boy, maybe five or six years old. He was riding a silver push scooter in a small circle, roughly the size of one standard parking space.”

Somewhat intrigued yet certainly not alarmed, the scene was attributed to regional school closures and the typical lockdown monotony. One day after the next, the misses sauntered towards the window with eyes peered downward, clandestinely hoping for an alternate actor, to no avail. 

After about two months, he appeared stuck in that small space. I felt helpless. Back and forth, back and forth, like an experiment of some sort. What do you do in that type of situation? There’s a park literally across the street?”

Over the duration of ninety-four days, the percussion of a kick scooter ingratiated itself into her morning routine alongside the most intimate affairs. The alloy grind played high hats amongst ambient shower sprays and an audience of one; she welcomed its presence.

Then, just like that, on 04 August 2020, he was gone.

1605 EDT – Author/Illustrator: O.W. Showe