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Picture Windows

"Our living room window at night." Photo by Elika Roohi
“Our living room window at night.” Photo by Elika Roohi

[Originally published at I am an aspiring…something on November 20, 2013. Republished with permission.]

The thing I like best about living in Cutler [housing complex at UAF] are the two big picture windows–one looking out of our kitchen and onto the path down to campus, and the other looking out of our living room and onto the sidewalk.

If I’m at home during the day, I spend most of my time in the kitchen in a blanket cocoon, halfway reading the news on my laptop and halfway talking to whoever will listen to me. When it’s light out, you can see everyone walking by from the kitchen, shuffling with their backpacks on their way to Reichardt one way, carrying lumpy bags full of laundry in the other direction. If you’re lucky, sometimes you catch couples holding hands or distracted students checking their phones and tripping over something.

But when it starts to get dark, it gets hard to see and we become the silent moving pictures.

So at night, I move into the living room. We have two couches, both with unknown histories (at this point in my 4-year-relationship with ResLife furniture, I have settled for a peaceful don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy, and accept the squeaking at face value), and I sink down into the one next to the window and peek out over the top of it.

Outside the living room window, street lights illuminate the sidewalk and, as an extension, everyone that walks on it. The living room window on weekend nights is the best, especially when our neighbors host themed parties.

When it’s late enough, we draw the blinds and go to bed. And in the morning, if I’m ever awake enough, open them again and, from the kitchen, watch the bundles of coats move on again.

Elika Roohi is a journalism student through UAF, an intern for the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, and web editor for the UAF Sun Star. She has studied Arabic and Middle Eastern studies in Amman, Jordan, and also co-produces a variety show called "Emotional Celery" on KSUA 91.5 FM. You can follow Elika on Twitter: @eroohi

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