Bureau voor de pretentie.
Pretentieus zonder marge.
Clouds mask the sun.
The curtains would have moved with the wind. But right now, with the window closed, he could only guess how it has to feel outside and how hard the wind is blowing. A strange thing isn’t it? Just a displacement of air. No more, no less. Invisible and always moving. He would see the wind making tiny ripples in the water, or the garbage tornado in the corner of his front door, if he chose to stand up from his comfortable chair. But he didn’t need to see these things in order to know the status of the wind. He looks straight up at the sky from his armchair placed across his window. The clouds tell him enough. Needless to say, the wind is blowing, the whole weekend long.
A window perspective
His window forms this perfect framework for watching clouds. It had been well designed by an architect, according to the perfection of the golden section. Later on resized by the convention sizes of the factory. He notices every cloud that drifts by. Every time he thinks of the billions droplets of water forming it. The way it has been formed by land and different air flows. There is a lot that could influence a cloud before it eventually drifts by his window. It is about being in the moment. A cloud drifts by only ever once, never a second time. Such a special moment. You simply can’t let it pass by. But it seems nobody agrees with him. Almost everyone would let them float by, unnoticed. They do however, complain when it rains, they feel grumpy when clouds cover the sun or are scared when a thunderstorm passes by. They lack to see the beauty of it.
He doesn’t let that happen so easily. Sitting in his comfortable arm chair he observes every cloud. A binocular next to him and plenty of provisions in the cupboard.
He has been watching all weekend.
Condition of Air
Right now, on the last day of the weekend, a very strange cloud drifts by and starts filling his window frame. A cloud he has never seen before. He doesn’t understand a thing of it. And he, of all people, really did learn the cloud encyclopedia by heart. Even more than once. But this cloud is different. Somehow he could not identify him at all. Sharp white lines mark the contours of the cloud. It is straight from top to bottom. A dark color marks the lower part while the sides are all white. He grabs the cloud encyclopedia from the pile of books next to him, checking it again, but soon realised it could not help him at all. It leaves him in total darkness.
Frustrated, he sits upright in his chair. His back strained. He has no idea what to do. A wave of doubt takes over his thoughts. How is this possible? But he does not get a whole lot of time to think about it. As quickly as the cloud appeared, it would disappear. Now a new cloud floats in front of his window, and then another, and another. After the fourth he had forgotten the whole thing even happened. Sucked back into his own little world.
At the end of the afternoon, clouds started to move very slowly. The wind was decreasing. De sky slowly turned from an orange shade to red. The sun was settling in. Slowly the man leans back in his chair. Relaxing. He settles his feet on the pile of books with the cloud encyclopedia on top. Satisfied, he looks back at his weekend. He did not let any cloud pass by without paying attention to it. Thinking of it, his eyes become heavy more and more when the room slowly fills with darkness.
Rising cold front.
Suddenly, he wakes up. A electronic ringing sound filled the room. Someone tried to call him. Strange, because it didn’t ring the whole weekend! It feels like no one bothered until now. Immediately he is back on earth. Different scenarios flash through his mind about who it would be or what this could be about. With a sigh he puts his feet back on the ground, his legs still half asleep, when the telephone rings for the third time. Feeling a bit stiff he walks to the dresser, grabs a cigarette and places it between his lips. At the meantime he lights up his cigarette and looks down at the highlighted display of the telephone. He does not recognise the number. Gently he takes a second puff of his cigarette and places it on the edge of the glass astray. On the seventh ring he picks up the receiver.
- “yes hello!”
“ hi….”
-“where were you?”

Slowly he runs down his memory for a forgotten appointment or something.

“what do you mean?, who am I talking t…”
-“how could you do this?”
“I don’t understand!”
-“you left us in total darkness”
-“I did not hear a thing from you”
-“everyone in total panic”
“but, what do you mean?”
-“you just could have let me know?”
-“it is a bit late for that now”
-“I’m the one who has to deal with it. Again!”
-“how the hell could you do this to me?”

Not knowing a single thing about what is going on, he answers:

“but… how can I make it up to you”
-“you know, never mind. You just let me down”
“I don’t understand how..!”
-“just leave it!”

After those words only a loud monotone tone remains.
Slowly he puts down thereceiver and places it back on the telephone.
His mind going crazy about what just happened.“what the hell was this?“
“with who did I just talk?“
“and what did I do wrong?“
Slowly the feeling returned. The same feeling he felt when the strange cloud flew by. It has to be that weird cloud. The cloud he could not analyse. As soon as he realised the next questions appeared.
“What did it matter? What did that man had to do with it? It was just a cloud right?”
Air pollution.
“It had to be that cloud!” He thought. “There was no other explanation.” He has no idea why that man became so angry about something so simple. “It was just a cloud for heavens sake! Apparently I did something wrong. Did I have to tell anyone about the cloud as soon as I had seen it?” Still, sitting upright in his chair he thought of cloud-spotting as no more than a hobby, but apparently there was a responsibility involved. “This is my weekend, my pastime, what does anyone else have to do with it?”
“Allright, I spotted that cloud, wondered what it was, and I did nothing about it.” The moon began to shine its meagre light into the room. Suddenly he stood up from his chair. “I give up!”
I don’t want anything to do with it any more!”

From his storage he grabs some nails and a hammer. In the corner of the room he finds an abandoned Ikea closet which he never put together. Per two he drags the boards to the window. The small boards seem to be a perfect fit. One by one, he slams the boards against the frame. He still does not know why the man became that angry with him, but one thing is for sure: he never wants to see those clouds again!
Change in a forecast.
The Monday after the weekend, very early in the morning, he walks with his head bowed down to the factory. Trying really hard to ignore the clouds. About to start the first shift of the week.  Although his apartment was only a short walk from the factory, it was inevitable he had to go outside to get to work. At the end of the street the big black building is waiting for him. Two gigantic chimneys blow big smoke plumes into the air. If he looked only up once…. he would have realised that he had forgotten to turn off the factory last Friday. He counted his footsteps, still with his head bowed down, until he arrived at the factory. The ground now forming his new perspective. Back in his own little world, just a corner away.