There is a man living in the flat in the building across from mine. I can hear him singing at most every hour. He keeps his windows open, letting the music flutter out across the alley into mine. It hangs over me in an invisible aroma, and I breathe it in.
As I lean out my bathroom window, taking slow drags from my cigarette that i let dangle precariously from my fingers, I listen. He pounds away ever so lightly on his piano, spilling out enchanting and hypnotic delicacies for me to sample.
I’ve never seen him, just a shadow moving about restlessly in and out from the window’s frame. I wonder who he is, what his name is, or if he likes to smoke out of his window as well. I believe he is French, for he’s always spouting out his lyrics in the charismatic, soothing language with such diligence and proficiency.
I sometimes will sit in the tub, under a mountain of shimmery bubbles, watching the prisms they create, while I listen to that beautiful sound floating through my window.
The air out tonight is chilly, but I still lean out in my peach camisole, taking intermittant drags from my slow burning cigarette as I listen to his new piece. It sounds almost familiar, like I’ve heard it before.
I smile warmly to myself, enchanted in the fact that I’m leaning out a window and nobody would ever guess that I’m not wearing any pants.
Izzy came by today. She lives in the same flat as my window neighbour. I had given her a ring after my bath with all of my burning curiosities. She confirmed to me that his name is Pierre, and is indeed French. She had no other steaming details that could have fueled any late night fantasies of mine, other than he never comes out of his apartment, but is rumoured to be curiously awkward and moody.
All I really needed was a name anyway. A name can spawn quite numerous lazy bathtime daydreams, all of which I hope to fulfill sometime or other. Izzy always chastises me saying, “Marguerite, you are such a dreamer! Wake up!”
But I can’t wake up.
Izzy is at the window, peering quite rudely into Pierre’s apartment while I pretend to flip through a book. I told her its no use, but this time she brought binoculars.
And she says I’m insane.
“Marguerite!” She cries, beckoning me to the window. She hands me the binoculars, and I adjust them right into his window. I can’t see much of anything, it seems fairly dark, but there is a rustle of movement, followed by loud, banging piano keys in an angry rhythm.
“What is he doing? He’s insane!” Izzy cries as I hand her the binoculars.
“Izzy, we’re two young women standing around in tshirts and undies spying on our neighbour from a bathroom window. I think that constitutes as insane,” I said.
Izzy leaned out the window and screamed across the alley in her native tongue, “Seja quieto! Nós estamos fazendo o amor sobre aqui!”
The music stopped.
“Izzy? What the hell did you say?” I asked.
“Something about us having sex, and he was interrupting,” she replied. I ducked down, pulling her with me.
Izzy crawled over on her hands and knees and snatched the binoculars she had tossed. She slowly peeked them over the window and took a glance.
“Oh meu deus, he is so perfect for you,” she breathed dramatically.
“Shove over!” I shrieked, grabbing the binoculars from her and taking a peek. He was peering out curiously from his window. He was considerably young, not a day over twenty five. He was a bit scruff as well, shaggy hair and a lack of shaving. But he had something terribly bookish about him. I could imagine him writing lengthy compositions on philosophy, or stealing books from the library just for the lurid thrill. But he also looked hurt, and that ruined the fantasy.
“Marguerite! You’re hogging the binoculars!” Izzy said in a hushed tone, punching me in the arm. I stopped dreaming and gave them over to her. He shouted something across the alley way, but I couldn’t understand him, my French was horrible.
“Let’s hope he speaks English or Portuguese,” Izzy said, still watching.
Izzy laughed at my last remark.
“What?” I questioned her, “I do listen. Plus he’s really really cute.”
“You are crazy, menina. All you Kiwis are crazy,” Izzy replied.
“Hey!” I defended, “Just because I’m from New Zealand does not automatically make me crazy.”
“Um, yes it does,” Izzy said with a laugh. We had completely forgotten about Pierre standing outside, and were now fooling about, pushing each other like two children. Izzy shoved me as I tried to crawl away and I was instantly exposed, my pantied bottom waving in front of the window.
“Oh my god,” I said, falling flat to the floor, “I think he saw my bum.”
“Who cares?” Izzy laughed, “He thinks we’re lesbians anyway.” Izzy crawled up to the window and shouted loudly for Pierre to hear.
“My friend here thinks you’re hot! Yummy yummy! Delicioso!”
I shrieked, “Isabella, shut up! I’m going to kick your Brazillian bum!” We ended up tumbling around the bathroom, and by the time we were done, Pierre was gone.