Havana, Cuba 2004. I was little, Shirley Temple-type curls, momma made sure they were always poppin’. I was quiet but attentive. A dreamer. I lived in a house with mom, dad and my siblings. I was such a happy child, my childhood was the most beautiful stage I’ve ever lived in. Anyways, every weekend I’d go to my favorite place in the world, my Disney World, my grandma’s. Her house, my house, had this window in the living room. I still remember that window, my window, a witness to all my childhood secrets. To this day, my fondest memories.
My window, I’m most certain, learned to grow ears. I didn’t realize this until later on, but it’d always listen. See, I’d grab my step, careful not to fall–which I was so sure I would one day–climb onto it, sit, and dream. Talk about my day, my friends, the things I wanted to achieve by the time I turned 20, which seemed so incredibly far away. I’d also talk about God, how I loved Him so much. (If this is sorta starting to freak you out, may I say I never intended talking to my window.) I was a loud thinker, and my window so happened to be the listener.
People walked by every day. I’d sit in my window and observe, make up stories in my head, scenarios of things the pedestrians could be thinking of in the 10 seconds it’d take them to pass the fence just a few steps away. I’d think things like: “I’m sure that guy just ate an elephant, why is his belly so swollen?” Or, “Did that lady just trip? How do you walk in those? Maybe if she hadn’t worn those heels she wouldn’t have?” I’d smile.
I was happy there. Grandma knew it was my favorite spot, so she’d let me eat there while I watched TV. I also had to practice violin, so, yes, you guessed it, I’d stand in my window and play. The neighbors started to notice, so they’d gather around to hear my playing. Some’d wave, others would thumbs me up, others would just ignore. I had started to be known as la violinista (the violinist), thanks to my window.
For some reason though, my window wasn’t the same at night. I felt as though it didn’t like me anymore. I mean I didn’t really like it either when it got dark, cold, spooky and not welcoming anymore, so I’d avoid it. Only until the sun welcomed me again with a grin, inviting me to dream in that window, my window.
There were four things I always asked myself when the weekend was over and it was time for me to go back home and leave my window behind. Does my window feel alone? Does it know when I’ll come back again? Will it miss me? I know I miss it, and I’m sure it misses me too.
My window is someone else’s window now. Someone else gets to sit there and dream. I haven’t seen it in over 9 years. My family and I left our island in search for a better future, and grandma moved to our then-house, giving away my Disney World, my window. I’m sure I can visit, but I know it won’t ever be the same.
I’m 20 now, my window took the form of my journal, and we speak every day. I’ve yet to achieve those dreams my window and I shared, but maybe I can ask for permission to visit again and sit (will I fit?). Perhaps, for once, my window won’t just listen?