Peephole

I like looking through the peephole of my suite’s front door.

That sounds really creepy, I know, but I like the scenes I see, disjointed, bodies moving through the frame, microcosms and still shots like still developing pictures.

I see the boys come and go from my RA’s door, and I think of some illusion that’s been shattered, about how authority is celibate, and then I think how loneliness finds everyone, everyone, doesn’t matter who you are.

I like the peephole that’s a fish-eye lens, the images round and distorted. It reminds me of the periscope on a submarine, like in those old, funny movies, that would pop up and break to the surface exactly where the drama is.

Outside, someone takes out the trash. Outside, someone says goodnight- friends come and go and I can’t make sense between visitors and residents because I haven’t met them all yet. I like that I’m viewing fragments of stories, unfinished stories. I like mystery books.

Some clues I can uncover. Some things, I can infer. My mind fills in the blanks. That door is closing on a night with someone else; there are two people in there, being. I hope they’re being happy. I hope they’re happy together.

Around that corner where I can’t see, that person just pressed the down button. Outside, a person waits for the elevator. Inside, a person waits for someone they hope to see. The faces and the doors and the scenes and the elevator buttons are emotionless; they are brief bits between next stops or at the end of memories or just before they begin. But inside I know the waiting runs deep. The longing is for something specific, someone specific, a current that runs past the present and back to the very first time you wanted. Inside you wait for that thing you always wanted. You can only hope, unlike the elevator, that it’s not empty when it arrives. You can only hope that no one’s watching at their peephole, feeling loneliness too.

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