In my dreams.
Clenching my fists and gritting my teeth as the warmth hit my back, I turned angrily to survey the brazen light's handiwork. Prickles of irritation raced up my spine at the sight.
Big and little, high and low, from one side to the other - my windows were covered in greasy, grimy smears. There were smudges from drooling babies and sticky-mouthed toddlers. Smudges from careless young people and oblivious old ones. Smudges from dearest friends and hated enemies. Never had I met a soul - be he kind or cruel - who had left my windows free of his grime. Some few had realized their mistakes, had tried to right the wrong, but I could see their dirty fingerprints still.
Of course, I could - by closing blinds, wearing dark glasses, or shutting myself in a closet - avoid seeing the light. Yet the very knowledge that, heedless of my effors, it would shine upon those dirty panes, day after day, was pure torture. And for some reason, somehow, I felt a sickening pull to watch the light mock me each morning. I couldn't help looking, and I hated to see.
You could clean them, you know.
I shook my head vehemently, slamming my still-clenched fists to my ears. This was worst part of my morning vigil. Every time the light glowed through my fogged windows, the persistent gleam suggested this thought. Daily, I repulsed it.
"No! It's not for me to do! Did I put the smudges there? Was I so careless? No! They made the smudges!" - oh, the inexhaustible list of "theys" in my mind! - "They did! They ought to clean them! Common decency demands it! Friendship - if they still call themselves friends - demands it! It is theirs to do!"
I spun around, eyes snapped shut, trying to black out the light, the windows, and everything else. Trying to hold the tears inside.
To be continued...