There’s a woman in the apartment across from mine and one floor up. She’s older, with a full head of white curly hair and thick-framed reading glasses. Sometimes, as I lift my eyes to think of the proper wording for my “Issues and Me” paper, I catch sight of her tapping at her iPad. I wonder if sometimes, she turns her head and catches a glimpse of me studiously typing on my laptop.
It’s a grey sort of day. The concrete on the landing below my window is darker than usual, likely from rain before I woke up. Birds are wheeling through the sky but, aside from them and me and the woman in the window, there isn’t a soul in sight. An open sign blinks hopefully down below but no one moves behind the glass. Everything is quiet, contemplative, lethargic…
Yesterday was Canada Day. The sky was clear, the temperature soared, red and white abounded, and people were everywhere. My method of celebration was donning the reddest shirt and matching lipstick that I owned and heading to a barbecue with some classmates. Later, we raced to the waterfront to catch the tail-end of the fireworks show. It was tremendous fun, but:
Now, finally, the homesickness has started to creep in.
It won’t be for too long, I am sure. This program has ensured my schedule is too full to dwell for long on what I don’t have and who I can’t see. But here I am on a grey-sky morning taking a contemplative moment to say that I am missing every one of you back home.
The white-haired woman has set her iPad down now to gaze out the opposite window. I watch her watching the sky. I think about connections, how I can feel so close to a woman I have never met, and so far from all my friends and family back home. I think about each of you reading this on your own laptops and iPads and smartphones, and I start to feel a little bit better.
Even, perhaps, a little bit closer.