The sound outside two windows
by Courtney Scott
I sit in my room, from day to day. It's dark and lonely, sometimes scary. There's two windows in this room with me. But there is no scenery. It's a gray day outside, every day. Shadows dance. Can't tell when it's day, or when it's night. It's as though the shades are always drawn. You see, when they built my house, they forgot to put in glass panes, but instead put in shutters.
The benefit of not seeing out my windows, is my heightened sense of hearing. I can hear everything, from the lightest pin drop, to a plane flying overhead. I imagine it cutting through the clouds, if I only knew what clouds really looked like. I imagine they are wondrous things. Big, immense. But what is big...when you have nothing to compare it to?
I can hear people outside my windows everyday. I can hear deep into their soul. Most people are ugly. Cruel. Spiteful. I can't understand why they are loved so. Maybe it's because I can't see them. Maybe I can hear what they really are. I can hear the monsters that lay deep beneath the make up and fake facade people put on.
Like the woman who even though, looks like a wonderful mother on the outside. Has several children, who smile, and laugh. She always seems happy and composed. But maybe that's because underneath the smiles and composure, is pure hatred. Abuse. She takes her stress out on her children, who sit night after night, hungry, because mom is out on a date, drinking drinks with strange men, rather than feeding her children, who are fending for themselves on leftover Ramen and rice. They don't know their fathers, they don't really know their mother. But they know the punishment they will face if they let on the life they lead behind closed doors. So they put on the mask for the world...the mask, I cannot see.
Or the working father, who has a wife and kids. He comes home from work every night, picks his kids up, spins them around, and kisses his wife with the most intense passion. I'm sure he looks the part, suit, nice car, white picket fence. But underneath all that bullshit, lies a gambler. He leaves work on a lunch break to find any way he can to spend his savings, his wife's nest egg, his children's collage fund. Horse races, video poker football games. It's almost all gone. Pretty soon they will be homeless, selling prized possessions just to eat, or keep basic necessities in their life. He's selfish, and has a problem, and rather than seek help, he seeks another way to get rich quick.
And the darkest of all, is the man down the hall. He's a sweet old man, People always say hello, asking him how his day is going, making sure to make small chat with him, because he is all alone. But what they don't know is how evil this man is. I can hear it, I can hear the demon deep within him. I can hear his computer keys clicking away at night, searching for his prey. He pretends to be a friend when a young one needs someone to listen. He'll listen. He'll be everything you want him to be. He'll tell them they need to get away, he'll help them. And before you know it, they are brought to his home, late at night. He steals their childhood away from them. Takes pictures of the innocent faces to trade like baseball cards among him and his monster friends. Makes them face this demon alone. I can hear the cries, but I can't do anything about it. For I cannot see where the cries are coming from. Only shadows and darkness. But still people say Hello, they wave, he smiles, his gruesome, evil smile.
I have almost but lost my faith in humanity. People are dark, selfish creatures. There was once a time when out my windows I could hear genuine laughing. Kindness. I'm almost glad I'm trapped inside this dark room, I would rather spend my life in here, then out there with the monsters.
There are a few people left on this planet that help keep my faith in humanity alive.
Like the case worker who came to the house of the abused children. They were able to put down their Ramen, grab the tattered teddy bears that have given them security during these hard times. She came in like a super hero, and took them to their Grandmother's house. A house full of love, caring, and cookies. A house where the color returned to their little faces. A house where they were embraced in hugs and safety, instead of fear and hate. The lady was “only doing her job”, but I could hear in her voice, the genuine concern, and care she had for these children. And for her, my heart is filling up with happiness.
Or the friend of the husband, who stepped in, to show him what he was about to lose. His beautiful children, his caring wife, his picture perfect house and life. It was all going to go away because he couldn't keep his hands off his check book. He offered support, sat with the husband when he faced his wife, and children to admit he had a problem. He went and visited his friend every day while he was away making himself better for his family, and was there to take care of the family in his absence. A true friend who didn't judge, who didn't mock, or ruin, someone who truly cared about his friend. He too helped the light shine just a little through these shady windows.
And the officer, who came to the aid of a little boy. He was visiting his “friend” and was alone, and terrified. The officer came in, carried that boy in his arms and told him the nightmare was over. He put silver bracelets on the man, and made him walk, in front of all the neighborhood for everyone to see the monster I always knew was in there. The streets were full of “I had no idea” and “He was always so sweet”, but those are the scariest of monsters. The ones that blend in, the ones that make you feel welcome. That officer got a medal, and even though the damage was done with the boy...he always knew there was a hero looking out for him. He wasn't alone in that dark basement. He had a guardian angel looking out for him.
So here I sit in my dark room. But I like it in here. I like being able to hear a persons soul. There are no masks, there are no cover ups.
Some people think being born blind is a disadvantage, but from where I sit, my handicap, is a blessing. For my windows are my eyes. Broken and blank, but seeing more than a person with sight can see,