Have you ever developed a fictitious life for people you see?
As we drove cross-country, I would make up elaborate life-stories for people who passed me. The stories went along with their appearances, facial expressions, and type and condition of the car they drove. I tried to include Sara in my little game/exercise, but the stories developed too quickly in my head to be put into words. When I spoke it out, it just sounded trite and convoluted. Somehow, in my mind, it was fun and just possibly plausible.
The game continues here in Boston. My home office looks out onto our neighbor's yard. The neighbor is an older, slightly overweight man who speaks in a deep voice colored by a heavy Bostonian accent. He is always about his house or yard with a slightly contemptous look on his face. Now that it is summer, he is either in sweatpants or shorts often without his shirt on (no need to mention his hairy back here). His house is a two story typically middle class Boston house. There is a small above ground pool which takes up most of the yard behind it. In front of the house there is a driveway that houses a taxi cab which belongs to them. The neighbor has another man who looks slightly older and slightly in a worse mood than the neighbor drive it. In addition to the cab driver there are numerous middle aged men who come to call on him. There is also a young woman who drives a Landrover who comes by once a week. His daughter or possibly a lover? In either case, the Landrover seems out of place and just fuels the story in my mind.
It is hard for me to do anything on the computer without noticing his activities in his backyard. He spends an inordinate amount of time cleaning his pool, however I have yet to see anyone actually use it.
Common sense would dictate that this man is a retired man who has too much time on his hand and tries to fill it by grooming his yard and house. My mind, however, has concocted an elaborate story about how he is a crime boss who is laying low in this inconspicous middle class neighborhood of Boston. The man does have a working-class Tony Soprano air to him. I like the thought of some powerful boss cleaning his own pool in the hot muggy summer sun.
I won't go into detail about how the story plays out in my mind because if I do, it will probably just sound silly. Kept in my mind, it is a tale of intrigue and power that keeps me fascinated and thoroughly entertained when I should be working.