On days when I spend a fair amount of time working on the computer, I see a lot of what happens on my street. As the gears in my brain squeak and grind, I look out the window and watch cars and people go by. We live on a cul-de-sac that can be surprisingly busy and since I’m home during the day, I feel it’s my duty to see what those strangers are up to. It’s amazing how many unmarked white vans drive by. When I mention to my husband what I’ve seen on any given day, he always says the same thing: “Did you write it in your dossier?”
It’s become quite a joke, both for me and for him. He thinks I’m nosy. I say if some van pulls into someone’s driveway and starts loading up furniture, or worse, bodies rolled up in a rug, the cops are going to want a description. And, I think, are you kidding me with dossier? It’s pronounced ˈdȯ-sē-ˌā, according to Merriam-Webster, and it’s a file you keep of detailed records on someone or something. I had to secretly look it up the first time he said it because who in the world says that? I’ll tell you who: the same man who pronounces vase as vozz. Someone who didn’t have a brother to beat him up for saying fancy words, that’s who.
So back to my dossier, or lack thereof. If I had one, it would be pretty lame: a hawk on my porch, people walking their dogs, pest control, a man wearing a bathrobe and I hope something under it rushing to get his trash can to the curb—hello, fuzzy slippers. And several dozen of those white vans. They always creep me out because all of the crime shows my husband makes me watch start out with some nondescript work van and the ring of a doorbell. Ding-dong! “I didn’t call for a plumb…oof!”
Our house backs up to a nature trail, and one day I saw a guy peeing in a big holly tree. Now that’s something I don’t see every day and am happy not to. My kids play up in that big holly tree. I banged on the windows. “Hey, you! Man with the wee-wee! Put that thing away!” I ducked so he couldn’t see me. Sometimes I have to protect my territory while others are away. No one said this job was easy. People can’t be marking my turf.
I’ve also seen some suspicious things driving through the neighborhood. A man parked on the side of the road brushed his teeth. I can’t begin to imagine why. And another day something in a remote corner between neighborhoods looked kinky and I assume it wasn’t legal. But I didn’t get a good look at that.
I consider myself more of an observant neighbor, a watchdog. But sometimes people like me take the heat. Call me nosy if you must. But if a white van pulls up in my driveway, I just hope somebody’s watching out for me.