The lady on the balcony

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.