|The single girl, Stolen Moments © Yasmine Chatila|
Yasmine Chatila shares another diary extract from her surveillance project.
Upper West Side - Friday 4:30 pm
I have set up the equipment next to the bed by the window. This is a new location with a courtyard view, Hitchcock would be jealous. I have no idea what the fall of night will reveal but I am feeling hopeful. I wonder if the uptown people will be more tame than the Chelsea characters from last month's entry.
I am starting to see some movement across the way, its too soon to make out whats going on but I'm pretty sure I will have some company tonight.
There is a girl in her late twenties pacing around her apartment. She is cloaked in black with a somber cotton skirt and top. She stared into her fridge for five minutes, I can see lots of oranges, yoghurt and a carton of half and half.
Black branches silouhetted against the grayish blue walls, the apartment is steeped in an ominous atmosphere. A little green towel hangs lopsided on her cabinet as she rummages through the garbage. What is she looking for?
She is sitting on her sofa, her hair pulled back in a greasy ponytail. She has no makeup on, her black cat is sitting on a pillow behind her head. She is eating something, her plate is filled to the brim, inconsistent with the scarcity of there fridge and her scrawny body. Her face is glowing blue, it's the light from her tv set.
A man is sitting on his sofa in the apartment directly below her, he is also watching tv. He is chain smoking and is playing with his nipple, I wonder if it is a horny thing or some kind of Oedipal fixation? Would they would find comfort in knowing that they are only a few meters apart, separated by a thin floor and doing the same thing?
She turned the lights on in her bedroom. There is a tray on the unmade bed, it has three orange prescription bottles on it, I can't read the labels.
Saturday 6:00 pm
Night two, she has a guest over, he is nicely dressed with a pressed blue shirt on. While she has her back turned to him fixing his drink he picks his nose vigorously, he rubs his beard when she turns around with his whiskey on the rocks. They are talking, she is animated and her face looks tense, she is gesticulating wildly, I think she is trying to impress him. He doesn't seem impressed or vaguely interested. I wish I could hear them.
The man has left, she changed into the black outfit from the night before. She keeps going around in circles between her bedroom and her living room, tapping the sofa, the wall, the table as she passes them over and over again. I think she might be mentally ill, I wonder if that is what the pills are for? I feel sick to my stomach, I wish I could hold her in my arms and calm her down.
She just stopped turning, now she is standing barefoot in her living room. Her fingers are tense and look like claws.
She walks into her bedroom and takes all her clothes off except for her floral plum and cream panties. God she is so thin. She is in plain view and right next to her window as she sits in bed with her computer. Her tray of pills next to her remains undisturbed, maybe she should take a few.
Still naked in front of the window, all of her neighbors on this side of the courtyard must have seen her by now. I think she must be lonely, it doesn't feel like a sexual thing.
Yasmine Chatila (Foam Magazine #22/Peeping)