I have seen my neighbor naked, and he has seen me. I would like to think that the pleasure was greater for him but I cannot be sure as I have adopted the coffee and cake culture here.
Herr Googli, at least that is what I call him as I have never met him, lives on one side of us with his wife Frau Googli. They live in a house that is identical to ours and their house faces Charlie’s window. Their garden, unlike ours, is beautiful. Where is Jerry Hernandez when you need him? It has paths and roses and even a little pond for the birds. Every Thursday, Herr Googli mows his lawn. To do this, he strips down to his tank undergarment. Otherwise, Herr Googli is immaculately dressed in slacks, belt and shirt everyday. Twice a week, he gets the blower out and pushes around the 3 or 4 leaves that may have fallen into his yard.
Herr Googli has the physique of a man whose wife cooks a homemade meal every night. His midline is very round.
In the morning, Frau Googli drinks her coffee and reads the newspaper on the patio. Switzerland is a country that still believes in the written word. Mid morning, she takes her wheelie cart and boards the tram for groceries. She comes back and prepares lunch which they take on the patio, enjoying these last days of summer. After lunch, Frau Googli treats herself to a little nap in the sun while Herr Googli does the crossword puzzle which Frau Googli has saved him from the morning paper. She could have done it herself but she knows how much he enjoys the satisfaction of having done it. It’s hard since he’s retired, he needs the sense of accomplishment that finishing the puzzle can give him. In the evening, they will take their aperitif on the patio again. After dinner, Herr Googli makes his way to the third floor to watch historical documentaries while Frau Googli knits for her expected third grandchild. She hopes the children will make it to visit at Christmas but doesn’t count on it.
I know all this and more because we live in a fishbowl of sorts. The homes are built like pieces of mosaic in a grid. All homes have enormous windows to take advantage of any light during the darkness of winter. The fashion seems to be to hang shears if one hangs anything at all. The things is, shears are just that, shear. So I know that Mr Googli is well fed and he knows I eat too much cake.
Buying window treatments is just one more thing on my thing to do/buy list but now that everything is out in the open sort to speak, it has fallen down on the list.