Friday, May 6, 2011
Ships In The Night
He looked out the window, at the strip of silver which cut through the city and snaked out to the sea. The sky's reflection in the water was only broken by the floating patches of green and the froth trailing a ferry headed upriver.
It's beautiful when the water mirrors the sun at this hour, I thought to myself. I finished my drink, walked to the kitchen and threw the bottle in the bin. I tied the mouth of the plastic bag and carried the load out to the garbage chute.
He pulled the metal handle and shoved the trash bag down the chute. He waited until the sounds of its passage through the building's pipes stopped before heading back to the unit.
I locked the door behind me and went to the bedroom. I tried to catch up on my reading but could not concentrate. I slid the window open and lit a cigarette. Staring at the skyline, I wondered if he was out there at all.
He stayed in the dark, watching. One by one, the lights went up in the buildings across the river. Where are you, he mouthed silently. Our paths should have crossed by now. Feeling defeated, he went to the bathroom to get ready.
I buttoned my shirt, while waiting for the elevator. I need to get out of here, I thought to myself, as my neighbor started belting out Manilow's "Ships". "We're still here. It's just that we're out of sight. Like those ships that pass in the night..."
He pressed on the elevator button impatiently and hurriedly entered the cabin when the doors finally opened. He jumped after belatedly noticing the other passenger but quickly recovered and muttered a greeting. "Uhm, hello."
"Hello," I replied to the stranger. We secretly stared at each other's reflection in the polished metal doors, as a cold feminine voice called out each parallell universe bridged by this vertical path.
"Sean." Names blurted at the same time.
photo credit: flickr - job sun