This post is for The Tenth Daughter of Memory.
Standing at the hotel window as dusk deepened into full dark, she looked down Sixth Avenue, 12 floors below. It was rush hour, though to say “rush hour in the City” seems a bit redundant, and dark enough for the lights of the cars to twinkle like a string of holiday lights.
She loved the lights of the city at night. The streets glimmered, steam from the subway grates glowing clouds of silver. The buildings displayed squares of warmth, where commerce still thrived at 6:30PM and private lives were picking up where they’d left off that morning.
She looked at the office building across 54th Street, and as always, was struck by how close it looked at this height. She could easily see people in the offices, some gathering up their coats, finished for the day, and others still hard at work, bent over their desks in concentration.
As she unabashedly spied on those in the building, she caught movement out of the corner of her eye. She had been spotted! In the window directly across from her room, a man was waving his hand at her. Huh. Somehow it hadn’t occurred to her that if she could see them, they could see her, just as clearly.
She looked at him, and she saw he was smiling and pantomiming, as if in a game of charades. He raised his hand to his lips, tipping an invisible glass up to sip. He then gestured back and forth between them: you. me, you and me, and pointed downward toward the first floor of her hotel, where she knew there was a bar.
She blushed (Oh, God, I hope he can’t see that too.) and smiled.
It was a shot in the dark, but what the hell, she thought, and nodded. She picked up her purse, and headed downstairs.