I can think of very little more awkward than walking down your back stairs to find the gardener taking a shower underneath your house.
Which is what just happened to me.
Let me back up a bit.
The underside of our house is completely open where the house sticks out from the side of the hill. (This often makes me question the structural integrity of island building methods, but that’s a story for another day.) This open space is home to lots of random, discarded objects, like gardening tools and old, broken water heaters. The house next door is the same way, and serves as the gardener – Silvester’s – primary base of operation. He has a chair, lots of small equipment and other tools of his trade stored under there and goes back and forth throughout the day gathering what he needs. Which is why he’s around so much for Meera to bark at him.
He also has a wooden rack of work clothes under there, which he sometimes washes in a tub and hangs in the yard to dry. I discovered several weeks ago that he sometimes also changes into and out of said work clothes underneath that house, which I can see from my back porch stairs.
So, obviously, I try very hard not to look in that direction until I can somehow be sure he’s not over there in some state of undress. (Which has, unfortunately, failed twice.)
Sometimes he moves over and uses the underside of our house for different jobs as well.
Today, because of a half-wall between the edge of our house and the yard, I could only see a running faucet and the top of Silvester’s shoulders as he waved to me (thankfully), but it seemed for all the world like he was taking a shower underneath my porch.
He could have simply been rinsing off because of the heat. He could have been completely naked. I have no idea and I don’t want to know. But come on!
I know he’s not visible from the golf course and that the houses on either side of us are empty. I know I’m the only resident that goes down into the grassy area during the day. (My dog’s gotta pee and stretch her legs sometime.) But he knows I come out every couple of hours, and he knows I can see him from the stairs. Maybe he’s just hoping he can be fast enough that I won’t catch him, I don’t know, but when I do catch him he doesn’t seem to care much at all.
Maybe I should start announcing myself from the porch to see if any voices answer back from beneath my feet before I go downstairs. “It’s three o’clock and I’m coming downstairs!” (channeling Robin Hood here)
Who knows. Welcome to the island.