The lady on the balcony

January 8, 2023

The size of her balcony only allows her to take five or six steps. This is probably enough for her, concentrated as she is on her phone conversation that almost never leaves her ear.

I have the impression that she always talks every time I see her on the other side of the street, summer or winter, rain, snow, wind, in sandals and a robe or protected by a heavy parka.

She comes outside for a smoke and then takes the opportunity to make a call. With always the same person? I don’t know. I guess it is so because the balcony seems to be part of the same habit.

Joking with my first-floor neighbours who can attest to her activities, I imagined her as a drug dealer or pimp. However, the activities that I can detect from her apartment, at night when everything is lit, look more like those encountered by quiet people, comfortably installed in their ordinary life.

I also see her from time to time on the sidewalk in front of her building. She doesn’t go any further, as if the impregnated borders of her balcony forbid her to continue walking. Besides, neither the cigarette nor the cell phone leaves her.

She may be under house arrest due to a conviction. However, I did not spot an electronic ankle bracelet. So other people’s habits can keep us amused for a long time. She doesn’t live alone, and people come to visit her as well. This is more apparent during the summer.

I can’t help but judge her fate, even though I know nothing about her existence.

Since I have started working outside again, I see her less often on her balcony and find her in the evening or on weekends.

I fear for her health. Is there such a thing as ear cancer? Maybe the brain is already affected. All those 5G waves hitting the anvil... And what about the lungs darkened by the spectre of emphysema...

But what do I know? She might outlive me. You have to be careful with statistics.

I can’t add anything more than her little balcony getaway—a moment of freedom for her and my imagination.

To each his happiness or his hell.