Skip to main content

Stalking Love -- Writer's Poke #358

Tomek likes to watch. Sort of.

For the past year, Tomek has watched an older woman who lives across the courtyard in his apartment complex. He has her schedule down to the minute, and he sets his alarm to correspond to when she arrives home.

She entertains different “gentleman callers,” but Tomek isn’t interested in watching her sexual exploits. His brand of voyeurism is much more pure than that. In fact, when he can figure out a way to kill the mood, so to speak, he’ll do so. His masterpiece: calling the gas company to report a leak in her apartment. That kills the mood, for sure, and Tomek smiles at his cleverness.

His landlady is his absent-friend’s mother. She worries about his love life, but she recognizes that he’s shy, or as she describes him, “gentle.” Does she know that Tomek has a telescope in his room and has been watching a woman with it? Yes, she probably knows, but she doesn’t confront Tomek about it. Rather, she simply encourages him not to be ashamed to bring a girl over. Her not-so-subtle hints indicate that she believes that his becoming involved with a girl his own age would cure him of his nightly observations.

What exactly does Tomek gain by watching the woman across the courtyard? Would it be too much to suggest that what he’s experiencing is actually love, that he actually can “love” this woman from the distance decreased by telescope’s aid?

“There’s a fine line between serendipity and stalking.” – David Coleman


Popular posts from this blog

Summer Day Trip #1: Caledonia, Minnesota

The Wired Rooster Coffee Shoppe -- Caledonia, Minnesota

I've lived in Minnesota for over ten years, sure, but that doesn't mean I've actually seen much of the state. Like most people, I know what I know, and I go where I go. And that's the extent of it. But once I resigned myself to the fact that I wasn't going to make it to Alaska this summer, it occurred to me that I had plenty of sites to explore in the immediate region.

First stop: Caledonia, Minnesota. Where's that? It's a small town in the southeast corner of the state. Before I opened my Rand McNally Road Atlas, I had never heard of it, and before I punched the town name into Trip Advisor, I didn't know if there was anything there worth visiting.

Distance from home: About 75 miles.

Challenge #1: Leaving by 6:30 a.m.

Challenge #2: Taking my dog, Atticus.

Actually, Atticus is a good dog on a road trip, but the forecast indicated that it was going to get into the 90s. I wanted to leave early in the …

Summer Day Trip #3: Jackson, Minnesota

Some time ago in the spring, I found out that David Ellefson, bass player and co-founder of Megadeth, was rebranding the coffee shop in Jackson, Minnesota. Every so often I would tell Linda that I planned to drive over there to check it out, but the morning that I actually decided to drive over there to check it out, I think I surprised her. I’m not sure she thought I would ever do it.
“What else are you going to do over there?”
“Oh, that’s it. Just drive over there, order a cup of coffee, and drive home.”
I had checked out Jackson on Tripadvisor, and honestly, Jackson seemed like it didn’t have much going on. My mind map of southwestern Minnesota was mainly a blank. I knew that I-90 drove through, but I thought perhaps the interstate was a metaphor: Beware ye who enter here, lest ye be on your way to somewhere else.
When I told Tavi we were driving two hours to visit a coffee shop, the idea didn’t seem far-fetched to her. She only had one question, “Do they serve hot cocoa?” I promised …