Serenades From The Street

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There are two young men in my town who I watch and listen to from my top floor windows. They are always together: one fair and one dark. One always carries a black guitar case diagonally across his back, and sometimes they play songs together under my windows, on the heavy wood and concrete bench that is set on the street.

They must live down the road from me, but I don’t know where. I introduced myself to them one night when I walked almost into them on my way home from a night out. They are very young, very exuberant: funny even.

There are three large windows in my bedroom, and the sashes split the landscape: above is the sky, and below is the town. Outside, people skateboard at night; I think the corner must be a really good space for spinning yourself around on a skateboard. People walk to this corner at the ends of evenings and yell into the space, seemingly just to create an echo and a noise. Since many people howl and scream over here, on this corner of Bar Harbor, I take it as just a part of this section of town. In daytime, it is covered with so many people that they are like ants coursing around each other in a seemingly neverending wave of ice-cream eating, picture-taking humanity. It is funny to watch the families together:how sometimes their clothes match, sometimes they themselves match, as if they have morphed into pieces of one creature and are no longer separate people.

My top floor windows are a magical peepshow of this town as no one can see me looking at them: I hide so far up above the street that no one could see me unless I were to lean out and point out to them that I am there. At night, on the old couch that was brought into this room almost one hundred years ago by pulleys and ropes, through these same windows that I now stare through, I look out at the street corner, at the streetlights, at the people stumbling along.

For only a few short weeks more will I be able to see the waves of people that spill by this house every single day as even now, the days are growing shorter and the light is changing and the inevitability of fall is felt in crisp breezes at night. Days are still warm, hot even, but the nights betray the cooling of the air, the bend of the sunlight shifting into the strange movement of this place into autumn, with its changing leaves and riotous colors, to cold, and into the dark.

In the dark, and sometimes in the daylight, for now, though, I will continue to watch the two young men, the drunk couples, the skateboarding teenagers, the ice cream eaters and lobster lovers, the families on vacation in Maine, and appreciate them and wonder about them from a large, open room, on the third floor of a very old house.

 

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“Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known. ”

– Garrison Keillor 

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