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Our two windows stand on either side of a narrow slit of pavement six stories lower. I used to wonder why the architects would do something so intrusive as to line up bedroom windows like this, but then, the flat brick alternative would have been far too depressing.  So now we peer into each other, often without intending.  Semi-self conscious subjects and semi-conscious viewers – we are in each other’s fishbowl.  But I see your light’s turned out.  Our embarrassed observations will continue in the morning.

It’s strange that neither of us has bothered to put up curtains.  That would have been the obvious solution.  Instead I’ve gone to great lengths to position the bed out of sight, mostly.  I’ve taken to changing my clothes in the bathroom, mostly.  And I’m aware that you are genuinely uninhibited on both accounts.  Might want to have that mole looked at though, I think it’s gotten bigger.

That woman you had over last night, do you think it’s serious?  I think she’s serious about you.  It was written so plainly on her face I could see it even at this distance.  And I even like the buck teeth – gives her a darling bunny quality.  Much better than the woman before.  I knew that makeup encrusted old tart was no good from the very beginning.  And where did she leave you?  In a puddle of tears and tissues, drenched in three bottles of cheap whisky. Not that I was counting.

While we’re on the subject, what do you think of the beau?  I’ve been debating on whether or not to keep things going.  And I saw the look you gave him as you toasted your cups of coffee through the windows the other day – you’re apprehensive too.  I promise he doesn’t always yell like that.  Didn’t used too.  But a lot of things are on the rocks right now, so I can’t exactly blame him.  Can I?  If we actually spoke, I’d be keen for your advice.  The advice of an older man, like a distant uncle I’ve adopted.  But no, that would cross a line we’ve been so careful to maintain.

How long have you lived in the building opposite my own?  How many other tenants have come and gone from these windows?  And did you have the same friendly non-relationship with them?  Oh, listen to me babble against the darkness of your unlit window.  I almost sound jealous.  Curious.  You are a source endless curiosity my dear neighbor, my imagined non-imaginary friend.  We see each other swimming circles around our cheaply rented rooms, interpolating entire lives from the briefest bits of moments…

Not that we were looking.


The picture is a public domain image from Wiki Commons.