Diary

Rear Window

07 September 2006 | Diary

The houses in my street are all old-fashioned Glaswegian manor houses. In light of the city’s shift from heavy industry and tobacco lording to the production of pop stars, novellists, comedians and badge makers, pretty much all of these manor houses have been broken up into apartments to cater for the influx in time-wasting, tofu-munching English bobos such as myself.

The house across the street from me has somehow managed to avoid this “apartmentising” process and still exists as a single home. However, the old lady who lives there only seems to operate in two tiny rooms, the rest of them being filled with lumber, old furniture and garbage.

When I first moved in here, the letting agent mentioned that the old lady lives alone on one level of the house and periodically refuses offers from his company and others to buy the house for a million quid, probably making her house the most expensive rubbish dump on the entire planet.

From my attic apartment, I can see down into her living room window at night and enjoy watching her eccentric old-lady behaviour. As I’m much higher up than she is, I don’t think she can see me. If she can see me, she’s certainly not letting on about it.

The catalogue of eccentric old lady behaviour includes eating a pork chop in an astonishingly feral fashion and spending almost forty minutes spraying water on a single pot plant. Her roof is covered with randomly positioned, long-abandoned ladders. Days can pass without a single light going on, suggesting that she either stays with friends periodically or else just sits there alone in the darkness (probably in order to get some privacy from her nosy neighbours). She’s great.

The past three nights however, have seen a change in regular patters of activity. Lights stay on for long stretches into the night and instead of the old lady, I see as many as three younger people going through drawers and sitting on the couch making phone calls.

Do we think she’s dead, dear readers? Any other theories would be vastly appreciated.

I hope she’s not dead. She’s become a sort of eccentric, elderly, female version of that ‘ugly naked guy’ on Friends to me.

Whenever a long term resident dies on this street, a memorial bench is added by the residents’ association to the communal garden. I’ll keep watching out for new benches and for any further activity from the intact manor house so that I might let you know which of my neighbours are dead and which of them who aren’t.



Leave a Reply