I never saw him until I moved into that place on 13th Avenue Southwest, and then I began seeing him regularly.
He would appear in the dim light before dawn or after dusk. Unsure if my momentary glimpses of him were just my eyes playing tricks on me, I would quickly look away and then glance back at him, but by that time he had noticed me noticing him and he was gone.
He usually wore a crumpled old fishing hat and a long-sleeve T shirt with horizontal stripes. Because his hat was pulled down low over his eyes, I never saw his face clearly, just enough to know he looked a little older and his nose was a little beaky. Think Freddy Krueger from the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, but not as threatening. His spookiness did not come from him, it came from me not knowing why he was there.
I never saw what kind of pants he wore, because when I spotted him he was almost always on the other side of the fence looking in. I could tell he wasn’t particularly tall, because the fence came up to the middle of his chest, while it was barely waist-high on me.
Only once did I see him inside the yard. It was almost dark out, and I had come outside on a lark, stepping off the front deck to go around to the basement door on the side of the house. He was crouched down next to a fern that grew in shade thrown off by the deck during the day. I think he was as surprised to see me as I was to see him. He disappeared instantly, gone before I could even finish turning my head to look at him.
Four years later I moved away and have not seen him since. Perhaps he was not watching me. Perhaps he was watching the house. I wonder if he appears to the people who live there now.