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i'm a voyeur. but of a very innocent and pedestrian type. that is, i like to see the parts of life no one else feels is interesting. i like hearing about people's hobbies, their proclivities, their favorite toys when young, what they do when they get home from work, odd surgeries they may have had. essentially i like learning about things that do not deal with education, profession or relationships.

this curiosity manifests itself in a number of ways. there are very few of the symptoms which aren't viewed as bizarre or unusual by the masses. for instance, something i like to do when at peoples' homes is to see their home. and not the parts of their home that were cleaned up for the party, but the parts where all the unappealing and embarrassing shit was thrown before the guests arrived or the parts they didn't expect to be viewed (like a garage). now i won't just go and creep around places. it's not nearly that deviant but i will look for any opportunities to get an off-the-menu tour.

one particular escapade which garnered some attention happened a year ago. a colleague threw a party at her house to celebrate the conclusion of a project. although, to call this woman's house a home would not be quite right. by most standards it is a castle, or at least castle-like. stone walls. museum-worthy, high-ceiling rooms. it's some simple paperwork away from being on the historic register.

given all i had heard of the home, i was eager to visit and said as much to the husband and wife giving me a ride to the party. the wife said that seeing a lot of it would not be a problem because this mansion, somehow did not have a bathroom on the main floor. shocked and thrilled at the same time i couldn't believe my luck. i was there less than five minutes before asking the hostess to direct me to the restroom. she explained the surprising floorplan and offered to show me to the accommodations. while ascending the marble staircase she pointed out the original works of art and gave some details as to their origins. once on the second floor landing she gave me a quick overview of the rooms and lastly pointed me to a door that led to the childrens' bathroom.

once inside i marveled at the spacious loo which was easily bigger than my home's kitchen and some of our bedrooms. the original 150 year old preserved fixtures, tile and plasterwork were breath-taking. i finally made my way to use the toilet and then slowly made made my way back downstairs, studying the disparate and rich art more closely my second time by. my tendency sated i spent the rest of the evening chatting with folks and doing the usual.

in time, another colleague came to me and said she was ready to go. she was my ride home, in that my first wheels left earlier in the night. we said our goodbyes and made our way to the car. once buckled and driving my colleague opened the following conversation.

her
so i couldn't help but notice you coming down the stairs. what were you doing upstairs?

me
oh, when i go to new places, i like to look around.

her
well (exagerated). feel free to make yourself at home.

me
i don't hurt anything. i just look and try things out.

her
try things out! what do you mean try things out?

me
like beds. i like to lay in people's beds.

her
WHAT!?!? TROY! you can't do that!

me
why not? people can lie in my bed if they want.

her
the better question is why would you want to lie in other people's beds.

me
to see if their bed is better than my bed. and pillows! man! i found the greatest pillows a few years back doing that. i bought two and love them to this day.

her
troy, i have to say, this really is not normal behavior.

me
may not be, but i bet i got better pillows than you.

here the conversation turned. truthfully, ten minutes later i forgot about the whole thing and just assumed the woman realized i was joking. when i walked into the office the next morning she was not there but two other colleagues were sitting at their desks. they both saw me walk in and then looked back at their computer screens. i was looking through some mail when one of them, without even looking at me, said:

him
dude, that is some really weird shit.

me
what is?

him
laying in people's beds.

me
what are you talking about?

him
cb told us about your night.

me
oh that.

it seems we may have left that conversation a bit too soon. i do think i have convinced everyone that i didn't really lay in anyone's bed that night but i still sense somewhere in the back of their minds they aren't wholly convinced and still have a vague picture of me undressing in the dark, neatly folding and stacking my clothes on a chair and sliding under the sheets of someone's made bed while hearing the muted chatter of a dinner party on the floor below me. it would seem some stamps are just more indelible than others.

OCT2008

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