I don’t particularly like the time change. I can live with daylight savings. Or not. I do wish we would pick one time scheme and stay with it. But all in all it is a minor inconvenience. At least it was, until this morning.
I tend to vary the way I drive too and from work. Not because I don’t want to be followed – it’s a small town and people know where I live anyway – but just out of boredom. There are basically three roads that I can take between my house and my office. One of them is Broadway.
There is a house on south Broadway that I’ve always liked. It sits on the west side of the street, on a funky lot next to a curved road. The house is white stucco with a red Spanish tile roof. It has a lot of character. It used to come up for rent pretty regularly – plumbing problems, I’m told. For the last year or so there have been two little old ladies living there. Several times a week I drive by the house on my way to work.
Every morning the two women sit at the breakfast table, deeply engrossed in bowls of oatmeal. Their table is pushed up against a huge picture window, which is right next to the street. Like me, they eschew curtains in favor of the view. However, I must admit I’ve never seen them look outside. Or at each other. Or across the room. There is never any conversation, only contemplation.
Day after day, week after week, they present the exact same scene to Bob and I as we pass by. They wear the same light cotton housecoats, one white and one light blue. One is in a wheelchair. It’s like looking at a good painting – the scene never changes, but you always see something new. I have no idea who these women are, but I think they must be sisters. I never see them, except in that breakfast vignette.
At times they remind me of nuns in a convent – greeting the day with silence and meditation. At other times I think they must be sad, forgotten souls whose lives have become a series of stale routines – vapid, never varied. At times I think I am just nuts and I shouldn’t be so fascinated by a couple of people trying to eat some damn oatmeal without being psychoanalyzed by the general public.
I drove by again this morning only to find that I have been robbed by the time change. Now the early morning sun glares into their window at the same time I drive past. It is a harsh light and has caused the ladies to vary the routine and pull the shade down to the level of the tabletop. Now I see only knees.