I listen to a lot of podcasts. I have numerous favorites: This American Life, TED Radio Hour, All In The Mind, Freakonomics, Invisibilia, Radiolab, etc. etc. Several months ago Radiolab rebroadcasted a story from the somewhat new and somewhat explicit podcast, Love + Radio, called The Living Room.
It is most common that these stories stick around in my mind just long enough for me to share an interesting fact with my husband over dinner. On occasion, a podcast will encourage me to buy a new book, try something new, or will expand or shift my line of thinking on a topic. It is rare; however, for a story to linger in my mind quite like this one has. At the most random times, The Living Room will pop back into focus in my consciousness, forcing me to feel the same mix of emotions that I originally had.
The story is about a young couple living out their lives in a curtainless apartment directly across the street from a young mother whose own living room window faced theirs. The young mother became fascinated with watching the details of their torrid love affair play out day after day. The fascination soon turned into an obsession, as the young couple’s love story turned tragic.
The tragic turn of this story is really heartbreaking. When this story creeps into my consciousness I think it’s to remind me of the fragility and fleeting feelings that come with life and love and happiness and grief. But this story also made me angry. I am a private person, as is my husband (said the girl with a blog). It really bothered me to imagine someone watching the extremely intimate details of my own love story. An insatiable voyeur watching through binoculars to better see the subtle moments meant for only us to know. I think maybe that's why this story kept popping back in my brain. It made me feel such a contrasting mix of emotions that I really couldn't form my own final conclusion and still haven't
The comments section on this story's website are just as mixed. Some people absolutely hated it; others said it was fake while others felt that it was beautiful. I’m just curious to hear the thoughts of others. Have a listen. Where on the spectrum do you fall?