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October 26, 2017

A rotting fence that the Home Owners Association writes angry letters about. A cobblestone patio littered with my father’s cigarettes. A patchy lawn that could really use some fertilizer. That’s all there is outside my window. In the summers, it gets caked with streaks of creamy bird droppings. In the winter, the warm vapor rising from the HVAC unit below condenses into water droplets around the aluminum frame. In the spring, flowers deposit congealed pollen that sticks to the mosquito mesh and in the fall, a family of squirrels stockpile acorns between the panes of glass. My window is my barometer, my connection to natural wonders that never manage take priority over the manmade stresses of imminent tests, research proposals, and assigned readings. I never open it, afraid that a breeze will send my assignments flying across my room and blow my last shred of motivation to complete them them out of the window, across the cobblestone patio, around the smoldering cigarette butts, and over the rotting wooden fence, never to return to my room. If I run after it, which I must, I too might never find my way back to my room, preferring a climactic day outdoors to the climate-controlled penitentiary where I write these words.

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