From here on the hill, Raymond says, gesturing toward the window, you can see four other hills. He names them. Most of the homes have telescopes, he adds, like ours here. He points to a proud and solitary thing of darkened brass.
His friend remarks that Raymond’s telescope is not pointed at the stars, but at the other hills.
Yes, Raymond says, we all do that: witness each other’s lives I mean. We all have neighbors, and the galaxies are boring. No one waves to us from the other hills, nothing quite so obvious. But at times they seem to put on a show, a domestic drama of some kind, perhaps grim. And we do the same for them.
What do we hope to see? Sex? Murder? These things are never visible.
When we leave the house our telescopes stare at each other, waiting.
Terence Kuch’s literary and speculative fiction has been published in the U.S., U.K., Ireland, Canada, Australia, India, and Thailand, including Commonweal, Diagram, Dissent, Penguin Review, New York magazine, Thema, North American Review, Slow Trains, Thema, Timber Creek Review, Washington Post Book World, Washington Post Magazine, and others. His work has been praised in the New York Times and by Kirkus Reviews. He lives in Falls Church, Virginia, with his wife and several dissatisfied cats.