Funny what thoughts go through one's mind during a casual glance out of the window, isn't it? When I first moved into these vaulted halls many years ago, I had a panoramic view of the far horizons from my bedroom window. Over the years, I grew to enjoy observing seemingly tiny double-decker buses, interiors lit up against the darkness of the night sky, as they traversed their routes in the distance. I'd watch, fascinated, as they suddenly entered stage left, and then parade across the bejewelled black canvas backdrop of night, before exiting, stage right, from the scene.
Sometimes, of course, they'd glide into view in reverse order to the one just described, and at other times, two buses would appear simultaneously from opposite directions and approach one another like dueling behemoths, only to pass without incident or acknowledgement in the middle. On occasions such as these I was spoilt for choice, my eyes dancing from one to the other, captivated by these glowing little boxes on wheels as they narrowed the distance between them. I can't explain it, but there's just something magical about watching lit vehicles at night from afar, especially if one is within the cozy confines of one's own hearth and home at the time.
Nowadays, I still have pretty much the same vista spread before me, but there have been encroachments. Due to building developments, part of the stretch of road along which these buses run has been blocked from my view. I'm lucky if I can spy on the sojourns of these night-time buses for half the span I enjoyed in years past, before they disappear from sight behind a new school near the road. I can't help but wonder if those narrowing horizons might mirror my life in some symbolic way.
In youth, with the future stretching seemingly endlessly before me, my life was in 'widescreen'; as the years have passed the screen has shrunk until it's now 'regular'. Imagine if, in some strange way, the remaining visibility of that stretch of road was an indication of the measure of time left to me. (And that's if I'm lucky.) Of course, I can only hope that the two aren't connected. Otherwise, if that view of the road and its procession of buses becomes completely obscured anytime soon, then I'll be deep in the soft, smelly brown stuff.
It's a sobering thought. And, being a teetotaller, I'm already as sober as I need to be.