Hadrian and I fell in love with our current apartment because of its many large windows. On the day we viewed the unit, snow was falling softly outside creating the illusion of being inside a snow globe. The windows, like all surfaces in the apartment, were covered in a fine layer of grime but we were assured that the whole place would be spick and span before we moved in.
Six months have passed and no matter how much we scrub, "spick and span" eludes us. The groves in the radiator attract perpetual nests of dust; the paint on the bathroom windowsill becomes a bit more peel-y every time we shower; and those windows, our glorious windows cannot be cleaned from the outside.
The vertically sliding panes make reaching out to scrub futile. I've considered buying a giant magnet, googled how to disassemble old-windows, and daydreamed about climbing out onto the foot-wide outer sill of our fourth-floor apartment. I've finally given up and begun the process of acceptance.
Our dirty windows possess a kind of twenties-in-the-big-city charm I suppose. (The windows in Friends are probably sooty.) Their south-east positioning lets light in all day long. The thin, old glass allows enough summer breeze to flow through to make our air-conditioner-less space bearable, and enough winter cold in to keep us engaged with nature. Through our dirty windows we can see the trees change with the seasons and hear the bus arrive every five minutes. We've become accustomed to bright lights at night and the frequent blast of music from passing cars. Our windows make me feel a part of this loud, mucky, wonderful city.
Sometimes living with dirty windows, and my consequent grumbling, puts the world into perspective. Considering the wide scope of hardships that come with life, I feel fortunate to have this one.