I live in a building with mostly older people. By older people I mean over 65. They are not old. They are just older than me and most of the people I spend most of my time with.
In Sweden, we live long. So 65 is just the beginning of 20 years of fun. I mean with a good pension and good health.
In our building, there are 75 year olds, 78 years olds, 80 years olds, 50 year olds. Definitely 45 year olds.
There is me.
There is the cat on the 1st floor.
There is the dog on the ground floor.
The cat stinks. That is how I know he or she is there. I live on the 3rd floor. I take the stairs; both going up and going down. That way, I can pretend that I am keeping myself fit. Taking care of my body.
The cat stinks really bad. I am discouraged from taking the stairs. Some days, I need an excuse to not take the stairs.
Sometimes, I can hear the cat meow. Rarely. I think she is a lazy cat. Mostly I can just smell her. The ammonia. When you smell cat stink, you know it is cat stink. Somehow.
The dog barks at me. Only at me I think. I never hear him/her otherwise. As soon as I open the entry port to the building, I can hear the dog yapping. The dog even runs to the door, probably to say hello. Or to tell me something about his/her life. Or his/her master’s life.
Closed up in that apartment for hours on end. The cat too. Probably the owners too.
Maybe the dog can smell the cat. Which would annoy him into barking & yapping. Trying to warn me that there is stink upstairs. Bad stink that a dog shouldn’t be expected to live with.
Maybe, the cat can smell the dog. And yet, keep silent? Maybe, the cat can hear the dog. And yet, keep silent?
The walls we build, they have two sides. Usually, the walls we build hide us on the other side. Are we then protected from freedom or from captivity? from sunshine or from rain? From lack, or from plenty? from sand dunes or from flowers? from music or from silence? from a potential friend or from a potential enemy?
The lives we choose, they have two sides. Usually, choosing one life means rejecting another life. Have we then chosen a life of searching? a life of finding? a life of learning? a life of giving? a life of taking? a life of hiding? a life of fear? a life of courage?
Or have we chosen a life full of life? If we are brave, we may be able to help our neighbours. If we are brave, we may even be able to help ourselves free ourselves of our fears.