I sit here alone, gazing out of my window. I stare upon the abyss that is the view from my window seat, feeling a deep optimism at the beginnings of my new life with this child. The baby living inside me kicks, reminding me that I am very nearly due. My belly, pregnant with this growing child, pushing my stomach to extremes and discomfort, tugs at my mind and with it, my conscience. One day soon, this child will be born; but into what world? I wonder, what will he see with his young eyes, hear with his young ears and who will breathe the same air he breathes in his little lungs? As I stare, the scene before me morphs into something I do not understand, taking me to somewhere I do not understand. I feel unhinged from the sight below. I shake off this strange vision. It is a vision that makes me laugh, it is so ridiculous.
The men and women casually strolling about their business on the street below have suddenly become alienesque and greenish in hue, all dressed in navy suits. But not even their suits can make them seem normal. Their watery, blue eyes protrude and they have gills on their faces, lined with vibrant pink veins. These men walk on legs but they have heavy tails swinging behind them. Occasionally, their tails bump a light post or a fire hydron. Murmuring noises emit from their mouths instead of speech. They proceed slowly about their business, while I wonder, how?
But all to soon, the image changes. Now I see apes and monkeys jumping up and down and making such a din, I wonder that no one else has noticed. They have copious amounts of hair. It grows on their faces and their clothes rip slightly exposing still more hair. Their faces become ape like and they hunch slightly. The noises they make are mere grunts. Some walk on all fours, while others take a bus. A monkey taking a bus? I wonder at my sanity, but it is not me who is strange. These images are real. These people have become the apes of Darwin’s imaginings.
Then again, the prescience changes. Now the people are winged, with horns postulating from their heads. It’s as though fairy tales or children’s books have come to life before me. A sordid child’s imagination is set free on the unsuspecting people walking beneath my bedroom window. They have the form of pristine, white horses, well-groomed and wearing suits of purple hue. They walk on hooves, making thudding sounds on the pavement, which is the only thing that doesn’t change. The trees are the same and in the same places. The lamp posts hold their place. A bike remains unmoved, chained to a pole. But what does that matter?
The mythos of strange horses has turned into bleating lambs, led onwards by a raggedly clothed Shepherd. Like lambs to the slaughter, they seem to almost beg. Their wool is tangled, swathed in dirt. They walk slowly, clumsily, bumping into each other as they step forwards. Their progress is almost sloth-like and audibly loud. Nobody else seems to stare from their windows at this everchanging ensemble. The sheep will not stay, like everything else, but at least they didn’t terrify me.
I look and make the mistake of blinking once. The people on the street are now all babies, crawling toddlers and screaming newborns. No parents to comfort them or curb their cries. Some of them are in pushchairs, others crawling on the pavement. A few of them eat the grass that is growing randomly in the cracks. I wonder if I should call the police? Then I think how strange this would sound. My conscience tells me that I should tell someone. I cannot leave babies sitting outside on a street next to a road with cars driving by. I make a point of looking at the cars and notice for the first time that they are being driven by babies. My mind feels as though it is on the brink of insanity. How is all this possible? It can’t be real. Babies driving? Where are their parents? Confused, I wish for normal.
Suddenly the babies are gone. In their place are boxes, tables, chairs, a sink and even the odd toilet. The babies have become mere things. I don’t know which is worse. I curse myself silently. What is happening to me? Is this real? The ‘things’ scattered on the street are moving, unlike real objects, they have feet and hands. But still, it’s weird.
This time, machines emerge from within people’s skin, tearing at it. I glance away, the morbidity is too much as blood splatters on the ground. Do I know these people that have been torn limb from limb to become such monsters? The machines make a terrible and tuneless drone as they move forward in slow procession.
As I gaze out once more, the robots have become poor beggars, some might have once said vagrants but I am too kind for that. And while I feel sorry for them, I am also glad. These people are normal in so far as normal goes. They are sitting on the pavement and holding outstretched arms at the other beggar passersby. These beggars are dressed in rags, their hands swollen and calloused, their nails unkempt and unwashed. They look at me, miserable. But what I see is a beauty – they are at least human. Something I can identify with, something normal. Please stay, I beg, or else become the street I knew before you came and brought with you distorted scenes of macramé and disbelief, things I wish I could un-see or else forget I’ve seen. You have taken me from what I am, exacerbating the pessimism that resides in everyone and exciting any optimistic feeling that has me longing for a better world. I shut the blinds and with it the life outside, whispering my silent goodbyes.