Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Whatcha up to?

Have you ever had someone watch you as intently as that squirrel up there? Every single move you make? As though you held all the secrets of the universe? Or...maybe you were gonna rob them blind?

It's a strange feeling, you know? The prickles on the back of your neck make you itch. You spend all your time out of your apartment trying to figure out who's looking at you. And you wonder why you're so interesting.

There are people in this world with not much to do in their own lives. So they spend an inordinate amount of time checking out the daily lives of other people. Sometimes that's simply because they're confined to their home because of disabilities. Other times? They're just nosy.

When you live in an apartment, you know all sorts of things about your neighbors. When they take a shower (and how long!) When they wash the dishes (and run the garbage disposal). When they go to the toilet (and how often). When they fight with their spouse/family/significant other. What they watch on TV. When they have company. When they make whoopee...

All of those things are simply a part of apartment life. Privacy isn't possible in most apartment buildings. Except for trips out to the store and swimming pool, I seldom leave my apartment. I have no idea what my neighbors look like and wouldn't know them if I met them on the street. But I know a lot about them.

I suspect we all know more about our daily surroundings than we realize. When considering all this for a character for one of my stories, I came to the conclusion it would take very little purpose for my character to be the neighborhood "busybody".

We naturally observe our surroundings. When there is a strange noise or light or activity, we check it out. We notice the changes in our immediate environment. That's part of our survival instincts.

I challenge you. Without leaving your computer, list five things you know about your neighbors. Interesting, isn't it?


Tonight is my monthly chat at LRC! Please check out the info in the upper right corner and join us for interesting, intriguing excerpts and great conversation! If you're an author plan to post your excerpts!


  1. Yup one could make quite an interesting list.....
    Let me know how your busybody book character proceeds.

  2. I live in a row home and still know more about my neighbors than I ever wanted to. On the other hand the neighbor on one side is an elderly woman whose husband died a few years ago. Knowing certain things helps me check on her well being. If her routine is interrupted I've called her kids and had them come check on her since she's lost most of her hearing and hasn't heard me tapping on her door.

    But then there's the creeper down the street who comes out to watch me when I'm doing something in my yard. Like he's been standing at his window waiting for me. Ew.