Diane Weipert has been living in her apartment building for 15 years. She has three bay windows in the back and they face the gardens. (I imagine it’s a little like Rear Window, the Alfred Hitchcock movie where you can see all of your neighbors and their lives, right there out your window.)
She finally notices a window. She have always been curtains there but suddenly, 15 years later, it's a movie theater. A bedroom. Two people. Naked.
“They were always naked,” she recalls. And it was all she could think about.
She and her husband had just welcomed a baby. So this distraction of watching these people in their bedroom with their bed right there up against the window, with the curtains always drawn, was a distraction. It was more than a distraction. Because the woman who lived in the apartment was naked and tall and thin. And Diane’s husband was, uh, distracted by her.
At first, Diane started closing her living room curtains. Then she thought of making a sign, going by their building or maybe leaving a note to let them know they could be seen.
She finally realized that the couple was young and that she had to move on and get over it. They became a symbol of their youth, this happy couple—oh, look, they got a plant! Or oh, look, they’re sleeping until 11a.m! She grapples with her own ethics around this. Should she and her husband have looked the other way?
They shouldn’t have gotten the binoculars, she admits.
They just kind of forgot about the couple for a while, for months, until they saw this woman naked in the window—not the same woman. Or was it? It was. But the woman had gained weight. The boyfriend had lost an enormous amount of weight. He was sick, clearly, Diane thought.
Diane and her husband left town to visit family, and the whole time she worried about this couple in the window! When they got home, she finally took out her binoculars, and what she saw was a group of people saying good-bye to him, because the man was dying.
Can you imagine, how invested she was in this? To be this involved. She wasn’t proud, she says, but it was like she knew them. Her voice was shaking, crying telling this story in the podcast. Diane is deeply upset, watching these people that she never met.
It’s a beautiful and strange love story. A love story from a distance.