The camper is back. The same camper that was parked across the street for a month last summer is back.
The camper showed up again four days ago. I’ve not seen anyone go in or out. This means little, really, but I feel it needs saying.
Still, the camper is back. Does this qualify as a pattern? Because I love looking for a pattern. I think to myself: What’s it mean? The woman’s bike is still screwed to the back – does that mean the driver is a woman? Is this contraption her mobile hotel? A mode to take her wherever the road takes her? Home base for roving magazine-subscription door-to-door salesmen?
Or is this, as the neighbor rather salaciously suggested last year, a rolling whorehouse?
I can’t stand it.
I have to walk down there.
Just before sun down yesterday, about 7:45 or so, I took a stroll. And yes, for those keeping score, I’m pretty sure it was a stroll. It was too forward-moving to be a meander, too purposeful to be saunter. Well, it might’ve been a saunter, now that I think of it. The stroll implies one’s hands clasped behind one’s back, though; and I don’t recall doing that.
Now that I think of it.
Where was I?
I approached the vehicle from the front. The hood of the vehicle is spotted with the recent downpours we’ve had recently. There are two hand-sized dents on either side of the center of the hood, like someone might’ve had some trouble shutting it.
The Virgin Mary is on the dashboard in colors that suggest the statue had been purchased in Mexico.
There is a black screen pulled between the front seats and the rest of the vehicle.
I look up and down the street. There is a person walking a dog at the far end of the block.
I walk alongside the camper. It’s surprisingly low to the ground. There is a little door with a two-step ladder into the back. I peer in through the crack of a set of curtains.
The parrot that had squawked me out of a year’s growth when I had last tried to take a peek is gone.
The back end of the camper had been gutted of its original fittings and now featured a tiny, slender bed at one end. It is high enough off the floor as to allow for four rows of drawers under it. There is a strange, perhaps wrought iron lamp affixed to the top of the bed. The light is not on.
At the driver’s end of the vehicle is a set of cupboards. Across the top are built-in bookshelves.
One gets the impression that there are secret, sliding panels under the carpets.
It is completely charming.
“Excuse me.” The man walking his dog brushes by me, the black lab brushing my leg with his nose as they pass.
Startled, I swallow my gum.
The little announcer in my head starts to speak, “Local woman peeks into parked vehicle and is frightened by a man walking his dog. What this means for your weekend, next.”
Mystery camper sighting? Frightened by animal? Voice-over mocking my gullibility?
I am beginning to think that there may be a couple sets of patterns going on here.
Survey Responses from John, Elly, and Elaine
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