Chicago Missive No. 1

Dear Sir,

 

You and I were thrust into a terrifying free fall of awkwardness from which there was no escape. Really, it was neither of our faults, and though we must forever live with the consequences of the mortifying moments we shared, we have to find a way to forgive each other, forgive ourselves and move on.

 

I must admit, for me it is rather difficult to inhabit a bedroom whose window affords me a very minimal amount of natural light. As a result, I keep my window blinds up all the time in the hope of drawing in what little sunshine I can. As you know, both of our windows are facing the cramped crack of space between our two buildings. Even more confounding is the fact that this space is completely closed off. Really, we are looking out upon little more than a struggling patch of grass, sprinkled with trash and brick shards, encircled by towers of brick. For me it is rather depressing, but I’m sure that it is of less consequence to you since the room you are peering out of is not a bedroom, but a bathroom.

 

When I arrived home a few Friday evenings ago, I was in rather high spirits and was looking forward to a quiet evening of reading. As I eagerly retired to my chamber, I began removing my shirt and bra before my feet had even fully crossed over the threshold. Feeling completely assured in my solitary state, I gave not even a sideways glance towards my window as I changed into my nightclothes and turned my mind towards what snacks would be appropriate for the evening.

 

As I turned towards the spot where terrible, terrible chance would bring our gazes together, I could only think of my relief and comfort. At the moment that our eyes met, everything else in the world fell away, and we were imprisoned together in a horrifying staring contest.

 

I had, of course, previously noted, that my bedroom window was pointed towards your bathroom window. I had heard strains of notes from the radio floating out of your window. I had even seen the silhouettes of people moving about behind the frosted glass. Never before had any kind of contact been breached, though. How unfortunate that the first contact should be so abrupt and catch us both in states of indisposition.

 

I fear that I had grown too complacent. So often I observed your window fully closed with the frosted glass preventing each of us from viewing the intimate moments of the other, I made the frightfully false assumption that this would always be the case. Oh, how very wrong I was. Understandably, apartments become stuffy in the summertime. Understandably, people crack windows, even the frosted windows in their bathrooms. Oh, if only we had known the chaos that would be wrought by this seemingly insignificant crack.

 

It seems, sir, that fate conspired against us. We were drawn into the moment when our lines of sight collided as unassuming insects are drawn into the webs of spiders. As we remained frozen, concurrently disbelieving that another had intruded upon a space that is supposed to be both confidential and secure, and desperately groping for a means of escape, it occurred to me that I was in a bit better of a position than you. My poor fellow, both the angle from which I looked upon you and the posture that I noticed you in leave me convinced that I interrupted you in the process of evacuating your bowels. What has taken place cannot be undone, so I can only offer up my deepest and sincerest apologies for the violation of your privacy at a moment which, for a grown individual, should never be interrupted by the company of another. I assure you, I never would have knowingly perpetrated such a violation.

 

We can only be thankful that, after the passing of several seconds, I recovered enough to remove myself from your vision and pull down my blinds. You looked like you were in no position to rise from your seat. Also, if your stony and afflicted countenance can be any indication, you were in quite a state of shock yourself.

 

Please, please, please believe me when I say that I hope this never, ever, ever, ever, ever happens again. I can only pray that the old adage is true; such cruel and humiliating lightning surely cannot strike us twice. On my end, I have taken steps to prevent further incident by affixing a layer of plastic sheeting to the upper pane of my window glass, rendering it impossible to see through.

 

It goes without saying that you will need time to heal from this most grievous calamity. If you have any fear in your heart for my wellbeing, I am glad to inform you that I once again feel secure disrobing in my room. The measures I have taken make me feel easy in my mind that I will not be providing any more accidental strip teases.

 

Sir, it is my heartfelt wish that you go forth in grace and peace. The tides of life sometimes bring hardships to our shores, but we must find a way to move forward. Though we remain strangers, I cannot help but feel a kinship with you. Truly, we have overcome together. Do not let yourself be too dismayed by this sad and awkward occurrence. Live on, as I do. Live on, and please do try to move your bowels without fear.

With the Utmost Sincerity,

Wednesday Quansah    

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