By: Reese Scott
He’s looking out the window again. I can see him. He’s always there. Just staring out to St. Marks Place and Avenue A. I see him there before I go to work and when I return from work. For the last month I’ve been drawing a portrait of him. But it’s been difficult. I see him clearly. But for some reason every time I draw his face it turns into a blur. It ends up looking like a face that has been distorted from some kind of natural disaster. My Girlfriend is starting to get jealous. Last night she called me a faggot because I was watching him instead of having sex with her.
I’ve written down all he does while he sits at the window. He watches movies or videos or something on his computer which sits on his desk. Sometimes it looks like he’s trying to write. He showers and shaves about once a week. He smokes about a pack of Newport’s a day. Sometimes I see him open up a book. Look at it for a minute. Then put it down. Then goes back to staring out the window.
Today I stayed home from work. I hadn’t realized that he’s already sitting at the window by 5 in the morning. I watched him all day. I felt like a detective. But a detective who doesn’t have anything to look for. I was wrong about the cigarettes. It looked like he had gone through close to a pack by Noon. For the first time I saw him get up and leave his apartment. I checked my watch. It was quarter after twelve. I left my apartment and followed him as he walked down the street. He stopped at a bodega. I went in after him. He looked to be in his early thirties. It’s hard to tell how old anyone is these days. Everyone kind of looks the same age until they are old or still young. He went to the counter and bought a pack of Newport’s and a six pack of Rolling Rock. I stood behind him. We were about the same height. Had the same color hair. I bought a pack of Newport’s and a six pack of Rolling Rock and walked out a few minutes after him.
I saw him talking to one of the girls on the street in front of the motel where she took her customers to. I stayed maybe twenty feet behind them. It looked strange. Not that he was talking to a hooker. But more in terms of how they talked. They talked like they were friends. At first I thought maybe he was buying dope off of her. Since all the dope had moved uptown. But they sat down on the sidewalk and each smoked a cigarette. Then she left. He sat there and smoked another cigarette. He reminded me of someone. But no one that I could think of.
I stayed home from work for the next few days. Waking up at five am and sitting by the window. Smoking cigarette after cigarette. Like some lost method actor who didn’t know he was acting. My girlfriend was getting more and more upset by my behavior. Until one night she never came home. She left a note on the bed. It was on top of something she had wrapped up in what looked like leftover Christmas paper. I unwrapped it. It was the drawing I had been working on. But it wasn’t distorted anymore. It looked just like me. I opened up the note she left me. It was blank.