'The Window' by John Wheway
In the cafe, I always try to sit by the window, so I can look out of it instead of at people opening their mouths and filling them with meat or cake. What I see at the window distracts me from the smells inside, of grease, tobacco, human beings. Outside people are walking, and that is not so bad. They are going somewhere. They are not settled in one place, enjoying themselves. They are on their way to somewhere else. It’s mainly when people are stationary that they start to indulge in their dirty habits. Walking is clean, it has destination. And walking is, in a way, just like looking out of the window, always ahead of where we are now. Yet looking is stationary too. Sometimes I think looking is only a dirty habit. I have been looking out of a window all my life, watching people coming towards me, passing me by, my back turned on those who stop and can feel my presence. All my life I have been waiting for one of the walkers to stop, come inside, yet not become a different person, not lose that sense of going somewhere. But no. Once he stops walking and comes inside behind the window and sits down, he changes. He begins to smoke, eat, drink, and give off smells. It’s a disappointment. Then, I ask myself, why don’t you go outside, take a walk? I say, you could walk, if you take things steadily. But then I think, where would I go? Where do they walk to, those clean people? And I know the answer. They walk to places like this cafe. They walk in order to stop walking So perhaps I’m better off as I am? You tell me.