Have you ever looked out your window and seen someone staring in?

I live in a basement apartment in a nice and mostly quiet neighborhood. My unit is conveniently on the same floor as the laundry room, which has no curtains over the small window in the far corner of that room.

Well, the other night I was moving a tall stack of my washed clothes to the dryer when I noticed my next door neighbor had a light on in his side room. Having only glanced that way, it occurred to me that there was a shadow of his head and that he might have been looking in at me doing my laundry. (luckily I was dressed decently this time).

I should add that this person, like several of my other neighbors, is a busy body who seems to know my business whenever we happen to chat while waiting for the bus. He’s the kind of person who calls the police when a car parks facing the wrong way on his street, or moves a garbage bin to the other side of the driveway so it won’t be on his part of the lawn (which is the part that is on a public access area with a sidewalk).

I finished putting the laundry in and headed back to my apartment, the entrance of which is the opposite way from the small window.

Glancing over my shoulder, I couldn’t help but notice that the shadow was still there.

I couldn’t help myself.

I turned around and squinted my eyes to see if I was imagining it. To see better I started walking toward the small window.

All of a sudden, the shadow of his face turned and his room went dark. I can only surmise that he saw that I had noticed him peeping in on me, the nosy old man, and had turned off his desk lamp to hide himself.

My upstairs neighbor had once warned me that she’d seen him looking down from his windows at our house — toward my apartment windows. I hadn’t believed her until the most recent incident.

It’s been a week or so since that occurred and the event had passed out of my mind completely until Tom and I (yes that is his name. Ironic isn’t it?) ended up on the same bus. I couldn’t figure out why he wouldn’t give me any eye contact on the bus or even say hello in response when we passed each other. It wasn’t until later that night that it occurred to me that I may really have caught him in a frequent act of peeping in on me and he was embarrased about it.

As far as I see it, it serves him right the old bugger.