Our proprietara has come from Canada and it's been nothing short of a circus these last days, people in and out of the apartment all the time, Doamna Flori staying to talk for hours--and by the way, she has a favorite word, one we hear every third sentence: dracu and all its various forms :)) For those who don't know, it's kind of like hell but a little more versatile. She's decided she wants the balcony to be properly enclosed (instead of having frosted windows we can't see out but that let all the heat/cold in), which is wonderful for us. When the first guys came to demolish everything to make way for the new, I got to see Romanian 'negotiating' and getting things done at its finest, including lots of Doamna Flori's favorite words and her brother-in-law yelling at the workers' boss on their phone.
I ended up leaving while they were working on things and by the time I got back it was done, everything above the waist completely gone. Because our apartment is south-facing and we get direct light from 11 am nearly until the sun goes down between 9:30 and 10, and it's been hot and cloudless all week, walking into that room felt like standing at the helm of the Dawn Treader. All that light, nothing but sky so it felt like sailing off the edge of the world.
It starts to cool down after 8 so I've been spending my evenings out here, a towel on dirty rough concrete and feet propped against the side of the balcony. And all that sky. I'm really under it--not looking up at a cut of it between buildings, but under enough of it that I can see how it curves, the clouds bending at the edges like a snow globe. And up here on the fifth floor you can listen better.
When I get back a week from now, none of it will be here. There will be a roof and lots of windows--good for looking outward but not also upward--I want to look outward and upward! To reach with all these -ward words, onward, inward and especially downward where I forget to look, where I find the man with one blue eye, the other cataract and milky, a sidewalk full of reasons for lifting my own eyes toward the sky, hope in the form of the son of a poor carpenter, riding into Jerusalem on a donkey. Hosanna, indeed. You see?
And so. When I return, it'll be enclosed, but especially nice in the winter, I think. Now, and then too, I am thankful for this sky, the cool quiet air as it settles into twilight, all the blocs in a blue-purple glow. That said, it's been less romantic at night. It's too hot to sleep any way but with the door wide open, and so now that the balcony has nothing above it, I'm convinced someone's gonna rappel from the roof and bust into my living/bedroom. But more than that--I'm just gonna say this, don't judge me:
I can't help but notice that I'm at the perfect height and the door's the perfect width for a t-rex to stick his head in. I keep dreaming about dinosaurs, which of course is hardly unusual, Jurassic Park being my favorite movie as a kid. I guess tonight, then, is the last chance for potentially being devoured.
And that sky, which is just about done with its business of transition now. Time for the stars, a different ship, suddenly an image from Amistad, the stars wheeling around a fixed point, Cinque looking for east, pointing homeward.