I live in Las Vegas, a great place to people watch. I don’t do this downtown on the Strip or in hotels or casinos. I do it in my apartment in the suburbs.
Are my chubby cheeks pressed against the front window? Do I have a pair of binoculars trained on the deck across the street? No. But I’ve been known to lift a corner of a curtain and peer outside if something is out of place or stirs my imagination.
I write books and I’m always looking for a good story. Living here is like being in a mine with a lot of pyrite, but the possibility of a vein of gold just around the corner.
There’s a middle-aged man with Alaska plates on his car. He lives across the street and walks a Rottweiler twice a day. He doesn’t work, rarely leaves the house, but is friendly enough to speak to us if we’re out walking. Is he hiding? On the run? Does he need protection? Methinks a story is here.
The woman across the hall drives a Nevada Search and Rescue vehicle. She’s got tons of stories if I could ever pin her down. But her hours are sporadic so I smile and wave when I see her and imagine what her life must be like.
I met the young couple who live behind us when they moved in. I’ve seen them only once in three months. Capt. Mark says, “Maybe they’re newlyweds.” Really? That often? Even someone who writes romance novels believes there’s a limit to…well…romance. I’ve decided they must work on a cruise ship and rent the apartment to have a land base.
And then there’s the hot single woman in the three-bedroom unit. Ms. Mystery. When she first moved in she had a teenaged boy and a pre-teen girl with her. An older lady in a shiny new black Cadillac (grandma?) moved them out. A woman with many male visitors, hottie’s current roommate is a tall, muscular guy who, on the day he moved in, walked into our apartment by mistake, thinking it was hers. Hmm. Pole dancer? Cocktail waitress? Hooker?
There is definitely a story here and I am itching to write it.
In a few weeks we will be moving out of the apartment. Our new neighbors will be senior citizens. My desk will look out at a street that doesn’t even have parked cars. Until then my finger will silently move the curtain aside while I watch the little dramas going on around me.
Then I’ll turn in my Busybodies Anonymous card and get down to actual writing.