On the corner of Brook and Transit there are two now-closed shops on the corner across the street that have large, plate glass window fronts with nothing behind them but a few tools and some drywall dust and maybe a bright orange bucket of plaster and thick, white wallpaint. There's a bumpy black fire hydrant growing out of the sidewalk near the gutter that stops cars from parking nearby. The edifice runs along the street for some time but is kind of disjointed from being completely parallel with it. The whole damn thing has character, and the kind of character that is appealing, in a way that can only come from lonely objects devoid of people and time and consequence.
I arrive at this complex to cross the street and head down to the road by the highways, and I find myself, as I cross, catching my reflection in the darkened glass for a few seconds before the moment is fairly over. I see this young man in a green coat in the winter. Short hair. Face fuzzed out for the distance and the scratchy glasses. A slight skip of step and click of shoe. Hands in pockets. Hood resting on shoulder and off to one side. Slight red in the cheek and slick black and light of the wet street.
I get to see a glimpse, this wavering span of time the goes on for only so long and would go on longer if I let it but I don't. I keep walking and keep it as a flighted blip. I get to cherish the moment of thinking past my self, of looking at the kind of glimpse that someone else might catch of me from a similar distance. I'm allowed to see the blurry, sketched imprint of my person and to peer into the world beyond that can distract another from the sight of me; past my moving body to the white house, blackened to half in the reflection in the window; past the pigeons in the feeder in the tree, and the tree itself; past that and up the street and around the corner to somewhere else.
I get to think of the world that I live in, as if that doing that really does mean taking the sight of me and throwing it off to one side in a half-grayed reflection of the damn thing. I get to feel a real connection with things in motion and with things staying stationary for years. A person moving along. A remaining place held for ransom to time for time in the wake of people existing and getting older and moving on. A world under a sky that bends and grows outward with the intention of changing itself in the mirror, an intention that is anything but phony, anything but fallacious or mean or sarcastic. A lonely block of street. The dark corners, freshly painted white in the new year to hold the hopes of some for a while before new dreams give way to new corners and better lights.
Finally, the moment passes and the store front is behind me. The far off glance of myself in motion in the windows is replaced by the bendy caricatures in the cars to my side as I walk. I'm given back my selfishness and the intimacy of being able to get close to yourself to block out the rest of the world and I'm fine with that. It's fine.