The last time I had an entire apartment to myself, time was running at a faster rate. This time, I may as well be orbiting around a massive celestial object—my time was running way too slow.
I remember the evening glow. Even in April, summer was already fast approaching. As 9 p.m. came close, the sky was still clenching onto that last smidgen of light from the far west, sloshing a delicate stroke of golden violet over the horizon. Light rays traversed through the kitchen window and splattered all over the floor, painted the room with an oversized brush that spilled and dripped violet glitter. I had seen such color mostly in photographs, hardly in real life, and being a semi-photographer myself I have edited enough images to know that such color was often post-processed in Photoshop. It is a pity then, I thought to myself as I looked out, that I should be enjoying this view alone. I couldn’t be sure if the sky back in Geneva had ever been as captivating.
I hadn’t really paid much attention to the color of the sky since the last snow, nor had I availed myself of the opportunity to “skygaze” as my bedroom curtain was perennially shut—a habit resembling that of a vampire; although, the more I thought about it, the more I likened myself to a troll crouching at the mouth of darkness instead. For long, I had been somehow still under the impression that winter was at its tail: The sky would darken somewhere around 7 p.m., which would conveniently expedite my sleepiness by about an hour, meaning the elongation of time seemed less apparent as I had less time to be awake and experience it at all.
Being able to see the sky from across the room was a luxury that seemed foreign to me, something that my room didn’t have. Needless to say, I was not home, but it felt home-like despite the room had no curtain at all. At home even if I sat close to my window, I would only see the apartment building across the street with very little concept of personal space and too much personality: Towering over my abject ground floor window while emitting loud trendy music. It would require me to crane my head out and upward to see the sky and subsequently retract back in so as to shut the window and muffle the music. Pedestrians as well as the honorary members of the Divorce Club—a fine establishment that occupies the ground floor of the opposite apartment building—always made sure to notice me whenever I stuck my head out; occasionally some senior coffee-drinkers perching on their tiny terraces would also look my way. On some lucky days, I would even have the pleasure of seeing weed-smokers’ craniums from above as they’d lean against the wall beneath me while puffing away profusely, and upon hearing my window open they’d flinch and look up to me. I never did like other people looking into my window; it made me feel self-conscious, as if I was on display when nothing in my room worth displaying. So every day when I come home from work the first thing I do is shut the curtain, as such I have rid myself of the opportunity to appreciate the palette of the sky, also I have not been able to notice the slowing-down of time.
I remember sitting at the dinner table, looking through the kitchen window and begrudging my own apartment. But then I soon remembered Plainplais was almost unanimously crowned as the SoHo of Geneva with its fantastic location and 7/7 restaurants, so my momentary dislike toward the apartment had nothing to do with its physical attributes—it, instead, lacked something ethereal. For the moment, however, none of its numerous and attractive attributes can seem to expedite my time; seconds tick slower, minutes run longer, hours pass lengthier, and days go by never.
The sky darkens even later now, stretching the already needlessly long days even longer. As I crane my head out for some fresh air I can still see the faint light emanating from the west; the sky actually looks beautiful dotted by patches of crimson cloud after a gentle rain hours ago, but it isn’t golden violet, and I doubt if it will ever be. I checked my phone and it tells 10 p.m. Wow, I think to myself, this day sure has been loooong.