Carona breeds strange bedfellows

It’s a little off-putting when you pick up the binoculars to check out the neighbor across the river and stare into his binoculars looking back at you. I don’t do it often, but I could see moves, like a dance sort of, and I was curious – needed a closer look. In the time it took me to walk across the room, pick up the binocs, and walk back to the window, he’d had the same idea.

Normally I don’t spy on my neighbors but isolation does strange things. This quote by Wess Haubrich describing voyeurism sums it up nicely, ‘…the desire to look where one probably should not…’

Oh… He’s moving again. Just a sec…

Actually, I think maybe it’s exercise. He doesn’t get out much – meaning he’s always over there, on his balcony, hanging out. And I’m always over here. But I do my workout routines before I open the curtains.

He’s an exhibitionist. With a man-bun.

Did you know there are clip-on man-buns? It was news to me. Many of the younger male crowd in Ubud sport them – not the clip-ons, real ones. At first I thought he was female – long hair pulled up – like mine. But binocs proved me wrong. There’s a beard. Not much of one, but enough to show up with magnification.

This is a fair likeness although it isn’t him. I borrowed the photo when I googled man-bun.

I’m learning his habits. He sleeps late. But when his west-facing doorway is in full afternoon sun he comes outside, spends several hours bare-chested soaking up the rays and doing, like I said, his moves.

Oh – he’s turned his chair around. Now his back’s to me. Like a slab of meat on a spit, turning, turning, roasting evenly on all sides.

There are five houses and a river between us but we occupy the highest points opposite one another so the others are below. Here’s the view.

See him? He’s that tiny flesh-colored dot between white curtains. That’s why I need binoculars. Right?

It’s a friendship of sorts. I’ll never know his name but I’ve given him one. He’s Melvin. I knew a Melvin in high school. He wore fringed buckskin jackets and holey jeans before holes were a thing. He snared rabbits. He didn’t have a man-bun but he was memorable in other ways. I think my sister dated him.

Anyway, this Melvin’s dependable. I like that in a human. I can count on him to…oh wait. He’s gone inside. That’s disappointing. Oh. He’s back. Shirt’s on now. Must be pretty hot in the 81-but-feels-like-91 degree afternoon heat.

My house faces east. I guess you might have figured that out seeing as how his collects the setting sun. They say ‘trust your reader’ but personally, when I’m reading I don’t want to obsess over details. I just want the story to take me out of reality for a while.

I hope this has done that for you.

%d bloggers like this: