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All Eyez On Me ...

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Name: Michael Patrick
Location: San Jose, California, US

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Monday, August 9


All Eyez On Me

Although I temporarily moved out of my room in my second-floor apartment while the bee-related work was taking place, I've again set up my computer there, where windows overlook my street in San Jose.  However, the handyman is fixing the windows, shoddily installed by a previous tenant, and so he's removed the blinds.  Normally when I use the computer in the evening like this, I lower the blinds most of the way for privacy, but here I am now, typing away in almost full view of passers-by on the sidewalk across the street.  Many of these walkers, more than usual, stare at my window, maybe at me, maybe at that weird party decoration my apartmentmate Jay hung from the light fixture.  I get self-conscious from this and naturally want to hide or turn down the lights and be less visible (although I'm just so addicted to my work on the computer I refuse to go to the other room and just read a book).

My cobrahead-lit street can be dark and quiet enough, though, that maybe my presence in this window is a welcome addition.  Some nights my neighbors across the street sit on their stoop or porch, but otherwise, with the school out of session, the theater not giving any performances, the car repair shop closed for the night, the street is populated only by occasional bike riders, a few transit riders waiting for a bus, a car about every twenty seconds, pedestrians not associated with my block, partiers on their way home after a night at the nearby club street, etc.  On nights when I go for a walk around my neighborhood, the streets feel somewhat deserted.  If nothing else, maybe my sitting here makes the street seem less lonely.  Perhaps more secure.  After all, those who visit the alley beside my apartment house for lack of neighborhood public bathrooms only do so because they think no one can see them.  The alley foulers' reactions to the rattle my shoddily installed windows make when quickly opened provide good entertainment, however.