Poem, A Voyeur's Life
Origins of "A Voyeur's Life"
I think most people who dwell in apartments are curious about the other tenants’ lives. What are they up to? Why are there so many people going into her apartment? If you're like me, you might give nicknames to your fellow tenants much like Eddie does in the poem. There is a danger with being nosy, however. The other tenants start making up nicknames or stories about you. I've learned over the years to mind my business. It's safer that way.
A Voyeur's Life
Eddie looks out the front window
day and night
with his two Siamese cats,
Manny and Moe by his side.
He lives a reclusive life
although fully aware
that in order to be happy
he needs to unlock his heart.
Instead, he watches the tenants
enter and leave the building,
hoping to learn about their secrets
and what the rest of the world is doing.
He has a nickname for each,
but he’d rather not tell.
He keeps his reasons
bottled up inside.
One tenant lives on the first floor
by the name of Suzie the Flirt
who wears short skirts
and has a new boyfriend
every other month.
Another one lives on the second.
His nickname is Ichabod Crane
because he’s tall and lanky
and stays out late at night
like the man of Sleepy Hollow.
Eddie tries not to be seen.
He only leaves the house to take out
the trash or go to the mailbox.
He has the front window and his cats
to keep him company.
He imagines what his life
would be like if he were one of his neighbors:
Would he have a friend,
would he have a wife,
would he be out all night like Ichabod,
or would he be as lucky as Suzie the Flirt
and have lovers left and right?
Instead, Eddie sits on his slipcovered couch,
spies on his neighbors’ lives,
and worries that one day
someone will call him a lonely old bachelor
who leads a voyeur’s life.