There appears to be a man living on the roof of the building directly opposite my hotel window. I’m on the fourth floor, and I went to open the drapes in the nude only to discover someone facing me across the narrow alleyway. He didn’t see me, and I shut them quickly, peering through the folds to try to figure out why he was there. He had a tarp of netting with a table underneath, and three yoga mats, which he was carefully folding up.
In the evening, I spied to see if he was still there, and he sat at his table with a headlamp. Reading, from the looks of it. Between that and the yoga mats, I figured we probably had a lot in common, and the whole thing made me very curious.
Perhaps he does not live there. Maybe it’s just his private getaway, his yogic man cave. I keep checking back, spying between the curtains. Sometimes, there’s nobody. Sometimes, there’s someone sleeping on the table, napping in the heat of the day. A youngish male. I’m not sure if it’s the same person, actually. Then I see the youngish male playing a game on the table with a little girl, while an older man folds up three yoga mats. So perhaps it’s something different, a communal play area made of tarp and vines and trash, serving a family or an entire building. Up high, it is breezy, and the humidity is tolerable. The exhaust from the streets dissipates to a large extent. There are birds, and sputtering motors, and yelling children, and noise echoes muted back from the maze of Bangkok’s city walls, its decaying concrete and oozing plaster. I open my sliding balcony door loudly, and the trio, only twenty feet away from me across the narrow gap of the alley, does not notice.