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?!"
As Pooh and Piglet would say, "Did he run? No, no." He did not run, jump, blench, or even look around for the voice, but merely replied, in an obviously-attempting-lightheartedness, (and clearly toothless) voice, "Just doing my laundry!"