Horizontal Lives

True Tales of the Infamous Courtesan: Persephone N. Hades and her Horizontal Life underground. How she got there, her mis-adventures and her struggle to re-surface.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

'Peeping Tom' Revealed.

New York City, for all It’s millions of people, can be such a small world.

You may be relieved to know The Mystery of my ‘Peeping Tom’ has been solved.
(Or maybe you won’t, as I believe I neglected to mention him before.)

I have a Peeping Tom.
Had a Peeping Tom.
He was lurking around for the past two years.

Essentially it’s not his fault he’s a ‘Peeper’.
At least half the blame belongs to me.
(Subscribing to the doctrine of Judge Judy, I must needs take responsibility for my own part in the play.)
He only ‘peeps’ occasionally, when I forgetfully occasion him the opportunity.
Fortunately, I don’t ‘occasion him the opportunity’ very often.
Which is why I forgot to mention him.
That, and the fact that my ‘Blog’ is only a few months old and in that time, he only ‘Peeped’ once, a few days ago when I finally discovered his identity.

Let me go back:
It took me many, many years, hour-by-hour, cock-by-cock, heart-by-heart, to earn enough money for the down payment to purchase a condo in Manhattan.

My bedroom is shaped like a long rectangle with a bathroom connected to the end of it. In the front of the room is a large window that looks to the back windows of the apartments across the way. When I first moved in, I was a snail with a jumbo mortgage on my back. So hefty was the price, I could not yet afford blinds.

One of my first nights in my new apartment, I was peeing in my lit bathroom, when I happened to look out through the bedroom and noticed that the lights in the apartment across the way, were on. Then suddenly off. Which then prompted the light in my head to go on, causing me to realize that if the light was ‘on’ in my bathroom, and if the light was ‘off’ in that apartment, they could see me peeing through their window. Unfortunately, my toilet is far from the light switch on my wall and I had no choice but to simply finish peeing as they watched or didn’t watch, whatever the case might have been.

I vowed to remember to close the bathroom door every time I went in to pee, but I am a woman and my bladder is the size of a lima bean so peeing is more frequent and unconscious than my mind has capacity to be cognizant for. I would run in, pull up my dress, pull my knickers to the side and sit, forgetting to close the door. Needless to say, my bouts of peeing, most likely went observed more often than is proper for a stranger to witness.

As time progressed, I declared it a priority to obtain blinds. Which I did. And I kept them closed.

But then, money grew tight, and I had no choice but to put my beloved and hard-earned apartment, up for sale. That meant Open Houses and visitors every other day of the week. One of the requirements for these ‘home viewings’, according to my Realtor, was to pull all the shades up in order to bring as much light into the apartment as possible. (Apparently, people prefer homes that are ‘sun-flooded’.)

Early each morning of a ‘showing’, I would pull up all the blinds and leave the key for the Realtor. In the evening, returning home, exhausted, I forgot about the shades and would go about my business, undressing, peeing, etc, as the apartment across the way had full access to my immodest ‘goings-on’. Usually, I would be naked, and on my way to the shower or toilet when I would notice that the light across the way would conveniently go off. After a while, the pattern happened so regularly that I realized I had unwittingly cultivated a "Peeping Tom".

Now let me take you back further:
Climb into my Time-Machine. We are going back to when I was a very little girl of maybe one or two years old.

When I was a child, my parents lived in a poor area of Chicago full of immigrants. They lived in a three-story brownstone. On the first floor was a German family that had emigrated after the war. Same on the third floor. My parents and I lived on the middle floor. The Jewish cream to the German Oreo. Both German families, whose parents spoke with thick accents, had sons my age and we shared ‘playdates’.

One of the boys, named Andy, was my ‘boyfriend.’ Or so it was determined by both sets of parents. I don’t remember feeling much about Andy either way, except that I saw him a lot. But our parents thought it was ‘cute’ when we played together and even more ‘adorable’ when we rubbed noses—an act they coerced us into performing for their secret delight.

Andy and I would stand together as our mothers would plead and beg and cajole us to rub noses together, after which they would clasp their hands in delight and flash cameras.

I hated this.

Not because of Andy.

But because, it seemed to me, that after every time I did the ‘nose-rubbing thing’ with Andy, I would later have an extraordinary amount of buggers in my nose.

And yuck to that.

At the end of a particular play-date I seem to have memory of, I simply decided enough-was-enough with this ‘bugger’ thing. So instead of ‘rubbing-noses’ as instructed, I yanked his forearm and bit him so hard as to draw blood. I did have to spend time in the corner for my transgression, but that ended the ‘bugger’ ordeal.

Eventually, my parents had two more children, boys. And so did the Germans. All of us, the same age as each other. For years, wherever our families moved, we saw The Germans. Andy and I creamed the younger ones at 'Monopoly' every Holiday in the basement while our parents talked about whatever parents talk about upstairs.

Andy became a very wealthy, extremely handsome, multi-lingual investment banker.

I became and actress/writer, turned 'you-know-what'.

He lived all over the world doing Investment Banking Stuff.

I traveled all over the world doing Courtesan stuff.

My parents still saw his parents every year.

Finally, I settled in New York.
Finally, Andy settled in New York.
We got in touch. Through our parents behest, of course, and went on a date.

On a disaster, actually.

On our ‘date’, it wasn’t the wine that made me fall in love with him. It was his fore-arm.
In the middle of dinner, he rolled up his sleeve, revealing to me a permanent scar he had branded there: My teeth marks.

He was my past. He was the first passion I knew. His parents and my parents shared a love and a history. I wanted to marry him. Also, he was just my type. Physically.

He, however, was not of the same mind.

When we left the restaurant, he walked at least ten steps ahead of me as we walked down the street and did not kiss me ‘goodnight’ at the door.
I never heard from him again.

Fast Forward: (Two years later.)

My mother calls me, telling me Andy got married.
‘Oh Good. I’m glad for him.’ I say, lying. Still wondering what it was about me that so turned him off.
"He’s living in New York again." She says. "They moved into your neighborhood."
I have no reply.

A few days ago, I’m running errands in my neighborhood and collide into, yes, Andy.

He is staunchly German, so we exchange ‘pleasantries.’ No more. No less. I tell him I hear he and his wife are living in the area. He affirms this. I tell him where I live. Ask if he is close by.

Not only is he, but they live at the same exact address on the street in front of me (which would be the building whose back windows face mine.)

Suddenly we both realize.

I, from being in my business for so long, and because of this have no room for modesty in my life, do not blush.
He, however, turns a delicious shade of purple.

I know, but I wait for him.

"Your bedroom is across from my apartment." He says, simply.
"Uh huh."
"Uh huh." He answers.
"Nice to see you." He says.

(I want to wink, but I refrain.)

"Send your parents my love." I say.

I no longer have to worry about my shades as the blinds across the way are now permanently shut tight.


At 12:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my god what a story ... It was told so well.. well done lass well done.. oh this would make a great book.. how very interesting that Andy story was... How remarkably interesting it all is.. such a small world huh and of all the people .. wow .. it is almost 2 AM and I don't want to stop reading.. .. I love your writing .. oh such joy in reading these stories
How interesting .. so many things answered that I would not ask though maybe curious about.. all here .. this for me is so great..
I see I have a lot to read to catch up .. to now.. but I shall .. what interesting things await me..


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