Everyday as I begin my morning commute to Iowa city, I pass by Longview apartments. Longview Apartments have long been a favorite of mine. They are stoic in the quiet morning. Standing on the corner as a silent castle, a protector of the park that resides directly across the street. Aptly named Longview Park. They sit on top of a hill and from the 3rd floor you can see the entire area. The golden bricks that makeup the exterior of the complex, shimmer in the morning light. The two sides of the complex meet in the front and form a u shape building with a green courtyard safely ensconced between the two sets of condos. It stand three stories high and you can almost see the tenants by looking at the windows and the quaint back porches. Oh that one is a reader, that one loves plants, she is a hippy with her peace sign dangling or maybe the couple on the second floor are struggling musicians can often be head drifting across the crisp night air.
As I sit at the traffic light waiting for my turn to proceed, I often look up at the top floor and the there is one condo, (that’s what they call them these days) that always has it’s lights on when I pass by. No curtains in the room facing the street, just what appears to be a bare lightbulb shining like a beacon in the dark hours of morning.
I often wonder about the inhabitants of the cubicles of life, and why does that light burn so early in the morning? Is the owner a insomniac or just an early riser like me., enjoying the quiet of the building early in the morning, or a vibrant widow who rises early for a run, perhaps a dog needs to be walked and just enjoys the silent street so early in the morning. I like to imagine that they love Longview as much as I do.
As I scan the building I notice a first floor apartment with sheer curtains and the distinct flicker of a TV is seen behind. Are they watching the news while getting ready for work? Or does it simply run all the time for company as the silence is too much?
I once was shown a condo in the building it was a garden apartment, huge. As I walked in I instantly fell in love with the quirkiness of the place. The hardwood floors were original and showing wear, it had three bedrooms a kitchen a living room and a bath. The master bedroom was enormous. It actually had a stage, at least that’s what it looked like to me. I instantly visualized a chaise lounge with a fabulous reading light arching over the chaise. A small bit of heaven in my room. Laying on that chaise with a book could transport me anywhere. The bathroom had these fabulous tile floors, the small octagon ones that fit into a pattern, original fixtures including a claw foot tub. Yes it needed some work but it had possibilities, it just needed love.
I didn’t purchase but it fed my love of this old building and the stories housed inside its walls, I wish I knew them all.
It’s a grand pause every morning to stop at that corner and to look up and wonder about the cubicle life. Each owner in their own unique cubicle, it’s own retreat from the outside life, a safe haven from the world. I respect the silence of the old building and it’s majesty.
It has stood through time and continues to watch over the corner as the silent sentry, steadfast and never sleeping.
Until Next Time,