When you live in the top floor flat (apartment for USA folk) of your building, you get used to a certain amount of privacy and your life is largely protected from prying eyes. That’s something I’ve really grown accustomed to over the last 16 years in my current home. Especially during Covid 19 when being home has been somewhat the default position. It’s something I’d maybe come to take for granted, as I sipped my morning coffee in mismatched underwear. Superman is just too much of a boy scout to ever be a peeping tom. And living 30 feet from the street has consequently always felt really secure to me.
Until Wednesday. I perhaps do dimly remember half hearted conversations about how our building factor (Read Superintendant in USA) was going to clear the guttering around the roof. The gutters themselves, some errant plants that had appeared and just a general tidy-up of the front face of our building. I found the topic as exciting as all of it sounds and just casually sat back awaiting an obligatory bill. The joys of communal living laid bare. But then I forgot entirely. As you do.
And then on Wednesday morning, I hauled myself out of bed in time to log on for work at 9am. Generally been using a WhatsApp group to confirm my attendance and availability for the daily grind. So clothing has been very much optional. Or so I genuinely believed. Until sometime around my second breakfast (it’s a pandemic, don’t judge me), I caught something in my peripheral view.
That something was two lovely gentlemen inching past my living room in an entirely surreal but relatively unhurried motion. From my eyrie, I had never prepared for this eventuality. As I sat uncomfortably in my greyest bra, spluttering coffee and looking for cover, I wasn’t quite sure what was unfolding. Their ascent was the slowest thing I have probably ever witnessed with my own eyes. Turns out a cherry picker does not have an impressive top speed at all. But then, excruciatingly slowly and all too inevitably, our eyes finally met. And I was frozen in place.
Really wasn’t too sure what to do with myself at that point. Tapping out the “In The Air Tonight” drum solo on my lockdown belly was briefly considered but I’m not really musically minded. So brazening it out seemed like the best option on my limited table. I remain kind of grateful to my two unexpected visitors. Without words and to their credit as gentlemen, they both agreed to survey a point somewhere above my windows studiously until we parted ways. I will never forget their faces, nor they mine. But I have learned there is wisdom in “Expect the unexpected”. And ultimately, the true value of really nice knickers to your confidence. Every day is indeed a school day.