Our apartment complex, despite all the complaining I've done in the past about the management (and in particular, about the dreaded Drill Sergeant), does have one truly redeeming feature: the apartments are all grouped around a peaceful pond, which affords a really nice view. I always had in my mind, when we first moved in here, visions of sitting outside at night, stretching my legs out after a long day at work.
Only problem is, it never really happened.
Honestly, I very rarely venture out onto the balcony. Part of the reason is that Mr. Benjamin, our next door neighbor, has his balcony about a foot away from ours. He's a nice enough guy and all that, but I always saw my balcony visits to be somewhat solitary affairs. Maybe Corb. Maybe the kids. No next door neighbors, certainly.
Th other reason is even sillier. Ever since the fall from Josie's storage area about five years ago, where I broke two ribs, I've had something of a fear of heights going on. Nothing that obvious...I don't scream and close my eyes when I cross over bridges or anything. However, we live on the third floor, and our balcony is somewhat rickety looking, and the combination has been a huge deterrent. For the most part, my time on the balcony has been limited to five minutes at a time. Well, except for the time that Corb locked us out of the apartment, and I had to climb up the fire escape and wait outside in the dark for about a half an hour, until the apartment complex came around with a duplicate key.
This past week, however, Corb has been on a balcony revitalization kick. He's always the idea guy like that...I could very easily just live in a room full of kitschy orange seventies furniture, and be as happy as a clam. He likes changing things, revising things. Which is fine by me...I just go along for the ride.
So, he's added a floor rug, and huge pots, where he's planted morning glories. And blinking summer lights, strung all around the railings. Last night when I arrived home from New York, I realized that he had purchased new chairs, far more comfortable than the plastic ones we had.
And I thought to myself, "Ah, what the hell? Time to get over your fears and give the balcony a chance."
So, here I am, typing away, and watching the wild Canadian geese that make their home in the pond, nibbling away on the grass beneath the balcony. Their babies are almost full grown now, and are in the final flush of that awkward adolescence period.
I've told myself that I'm going to try, this summer, to spin a few tales from the balcony. Just about...anything. I want to post more stories to Live Journal, and maybe this will help me achieve that goal. In any event, we'll see how it goes.
"I like sitting out here," said Corb, as we watched the sun set this evening, just a few minutes ago. "It's like a room of the apartment we've never used."