304/365: Being Watched



Am real spy now. Snapped through the wonky glass on our front door.

I know sitting on your front porch is an allegedly harmless, neighborly thing to do. Kids are supposed to go by on scooters while the next-door types pop over the hedge to chat for a spell and lemonade is offered. Somewhere this fantasy probably exists, and how nice for those people.

Our neighborhood, while friendly, is not quite so idyllic. Neighbors chat with neighbors while doing yard work or taking out the trash or walking the dog… and people do their lounging marathons where God intended in the backyard.

So we were caught off guard when the house across the street was finally rented out to a—we surmise—retired couple and their many friends and relations, who meander out to the front concrete slab that doubles as porch in our hood by midmorning, take their seats, and just… chat together while staring out into the street most of the day, where a car might pass every hour if things are really hopping, in full/glorious/technicolor viewing range of our living room.

The first couple of days it was kind of startling to walk into the living room and be doing whatever, look up, and suddenly realize the neighbors were watching us with the kind of disinterested attention usually reserved for infomercials.


And it’s not like we used to spend a lot of our lives walking around in our underwear or being all sketchy, but still. One thinks twice about getting down on all fours to chase the one year old around the house screaming, and one feels marginally ashamed of watching three episodes of the Kardashians in a row during nap time (I’M SICK, DANG IT), and one goes squint-eyed trying to remember how many days it’s been since I washed this pajama shirt, and… you know.

It’s just annoying.


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