So last night it was very hot, and I was in that uncomfortable state of being too miserable to remedy my situation. You are familiar with this, I hope -- I hope I am not the only human who falls prey to this -- and will recognize the feeling that kept me, sweaty and unhappy, from merely getting up and going to bed in the air-conditioned bedroom.
I was sitting in my living room, watching a movie on my laptop, and it was about 11:30 at night. The lights were off in my place, since they reflect on the screen, otherwise -- and I was sitting next to the open window that looks down into the laundry room. My ear was first caught by a clinking sound which caused me to turn my head and look -- I recognized the sound as being something to do with the washing machine as I did so -- and I saw an arm stretched across the top of the machine. "Goodness," I thought idly to myself, looking back at my movie, "That is a very tanned arm. Who is that tanned, among us?" This niggled at me, and I frowned and looked back into the basement window.
I was looking at a man, age indeterminate, with reddish, raggedy hair and a greying beard, very tan all over (open, tattered denim shirt), with a dark, greasy ballcap and no teeth. He was sliding the (now empty) coin box back into the washing machine. In the brightly lit basement laundry room.
I was momentarily baffled -- my mind did not make the necessary jump, but was instead trying to figure out a reasonable explanation for this creature to be in my apartment house. Repairman? Nonsense -- it's nearly midnight. Friend of somebody's, doing a favor for Linda? Ridiculous -- she wouldn't ask such a favor of someone's random friend at nearly midnight. Thief!
I was wearing very little, shorts and a tank, in an attempt (which had failed utterly) at being, if not cool, at least less hot, but still was too little to venture out in, so I couldn't think of what to do for a moment. Then I leaned closer to the window and yelled, "What are you DOING?!"