In recent years I have become a bad sleeper. From being a faithful 8-hours a nighter I have graduated to fits and bursts of sleep between midnight and 8am. I’m sure that given the opportunity I could knock out 8 hours on the couch if the television set was on and blaring in my ear, but things are different in the quiet of the night. So I wander around, read, grab a snack and the dark hours pass. I sometimes look out of the windows at the moonlit scenery and at the glass-fronted corridors where the only movement is an occasional caregiver changing shifts. 

Except for three nights ago. I was standing at the window at about 3am mulling the thought of a sleeping pill when I saw the door of an apartment across the courtyard open and a figure slip out very quickly. As the person turned I saw it was a man. The door closed behind him and he took off down the corridor towards the elevators. So the night after, I staked the place out, I prepared a cheese sandwich for myself and a flask of hot milk. It was a long wait but it paid off. A few minutes after 3 the door opened, the guy emerged and someone inside closed the door behind him. In the morning I wandered along that corridor and read the name of the resident on the nameplate.

A bit of detective work at the front desk told me that the lady is a new arrival here. I found her in the coffee shop and checked her out. I sat down next to her and started up a mild conversation, but nothing developed and I left. She is nothing special to look at either, I thought. And extra heavy to boot. Last night I switched from a cheese sandwich to peanut butter and jelly after the indigestion of the previous night. At 3 the nocturnal visitor emerged and walked jauntily towards the elevator.

Yeah, beats me too…