I’d moved in about 2 weeks ago. I settled in quite quickly and felt reasonably happy on my own. I had my laptop, plenty of films and it was a busy street. People were coming and going all the time. People watching was one of my favourite hobbies. Most evenings I would sit in the living room and escape through the lives of others on my big telly, or Google my life away. At the same time, I’d gaze through the window, the net curtain allowing me to stare without being openly creepy.
It didn’t take long until I saw her. The first time was unreal. She walked by my house, both morning and night.
Wondering what we might have in common, I dreamt up things from the shopping bags she carried or the outfit she had chosen to wear.
I started to finish work early so I could watch her walk by.
I became so obsessed that I took a week off work to see what she did each day. Where she worked and shopped. What her friends looked like. If she was ‘seeing’ anyone or had children. I justified this to myself as research and getting to know the area.
None of this really mattered though.
I’d convinced myself this was what I wanted.
Spending so much time studying her was not helping me.
I became confused and anxious. I wasn’t sure how to approach anything related to her. Not to mention approaching her.
Would she acknowledge me?
Did I exist in her version of the world?
I dreamt of days filled with infantile romance – her cutting my hair or singing to me. Picture book stuff.
A plausible reality?
I’m 32. She’s 58.
To me, at the moment, she’s a woman that lives on my street.
To her, I was still that boy, smiling back at her from the safety of her purse.
Mum left when I was nine.
Could I go through it all again?