I have been working from home for twelve years now. Most of that time has been spent working in rooms without a view. However, I am now set up with an office in the front of the house and as we remodel, said office has no curtains. Hence, anything that happens outside distracts me or captures my attention. It recently occurred to me that I know way too much about the neighborhood and can tell time by what is happening outside. And because my job regularly requires me to work nights, I have quite a timeline.
I know that someone across the street works the graveyard shift leaving the house about 1:00 a.m., returning for lunch at 5:30 and then leaving again at 6:30 a.m. Shortly after, the first dogwalker passes by in the dark. After sunrise, more dogwalkers come by including the woman in the black yoga pants and her hair pulled back so tight, it wrenches a permanent scowl on her face. She is followed by an older woman walking her terrier. This woman wears one of those hunting caps with ear flaps, even in July.
At about 7:45 a.m., the high school neighbors take off to school in their cars. One next door neighbor leaves for work about the same time. I always see him because he parks his car in other people's driveways instead of his own. The father across the street leaves for work at 8:30. A hipster doofus with long blond hair makes his way to the corner 7-11 for his morning Big Gulp. He'll make a return trip in the afternoon. If it's Monday, the local grocery store catering truck delivers groceries to the retired woman across the street. On Thursdays, her cleaning lady comes at 10:00.
At 11:00, two different women jog past. Sometimes one of them will be jogging with her boyfriend in which case they race to the stop sign. He usually wins, but I bet she lets him. The afternoon is a little slower especially in the summer. A few bikers will go by including a senior citizen dressed in button down shirt, nice slacks and helmet. And he must ride for at least an hour up and down the street. The mailperson comes by at 4:00.
But I recognize everyone and can spot the door-to-door salespeople. I know which cars should be on the street, which shouldn't and make sure the cars driving too slowly keep moving on.
St. Pauli Girl and I spend most nights on the back porch for happy hour during warm weather. A few weeks ago, a thunderstorm broke out, and we were forced inside where we sat in our breakfast nook by the front door. We watched the rain and lightning while sipping on our wine. St. Pauli Girl pointed to a house across the street where a couple of teenagers embraced on the front porch. A minute later, the girl looked up and moved in for the kiss which quickly turned into a heated makeout session.
St. Pauli Girl and I whooped and cheered them on. We started to give advice which they couldn't possibly hear. The girl seemed to be the aggressor as she moved her hands under his shirt, and he stood passively with his arms barely grazing her side.
“He needs to go for the butt grab,” I said. “He's standing there like this happens to him all the time.”
“Maybe it does,” St. Pauli Girl said.
“Regardless, he needs to seize the moment.”
After another minute or so, his hands finally slid slowly down her back and pulled her tight.
“Yes! The two-handed butt grab!” I cheered.
St. Pauli Girl and I high-fived each other and applauded as the kiss finally broke up.
In short, people should worry less about the government and more about their creepy neighbors.