The Line of Defense Built Up by Two Doors

An elderly woman who feels lonely and wanting some company, on dealing with the neighbors, translated…

I live in an old apartment building, the neighbor living opposite of me, I’d called her “Auntie”. She’s nearing seventy now, lived alone for many years, her three daughters are all married, and would come back, once, in a very long while. Other than going out for her regular walks, she’d always, stayed in her house. She’d loved coming over to chit-chat, but, actually, I’d not enjoyed our chit-chats that much, because I work during the daytime, and after work, I’d needed to, handle the household chores, and, when I have the spare time, I just want to go online to read, or doing something else I enjoyed, and, those moments I get for myself, are very, precious and rare to me; plus, there are, the generation gaps between me auntie and I, she loved gossiping about the neighbors, but that, is my least favorite subject of discussion.

knocking on the doors, but, nobody’s home, because nobody answers…not my photograph

On this particular evening, I’d finished the chores, and auntie came by with some red guavas. She’d told me, “My relatives sent me a box by mail, you probably rarely had the chances of having these? Here, try some.”, as Auntie said this, she’d, sat herself down, and, I can only, stopped checking on things online, and feeling that displease rising up on the inside, and carried on in conversations with her, feeling unwilling. Although I’m grateful for her kindness, but, I’d not like getting interrupted on my me-time.

The very next day, I had a day off I was thinking on how I will finally get to finish that book I’d checked out from the libraries after I’m done with the groceries. As I opened up the door, and got ready to leave, Auntie opened up her door too and, she had that look of excitement like a hunter, catching something. “You’re off today?”. “Yup, I have a day off.”, I’d kept my head lowered, and rushed out the door.

After I went to the marketplace, I saw the stand with the meat pies, bought three of various flavors. As I got home, I’d, knocked on Auntie’s door, handed her one of the meat pies. Auntie took it gladly, with that look of expectancy, “Would you like to come in?”, “Nah, I didn’t sleep well last night I’m going to catch up on my sleep now”. I’d immediately, turned her down, and saw that look of disappointment coming over her face.

After I’d dodged her longing looks, I’d turned around, got inside my house, and, I’d, shut the wooden, and the ironclad door outside, and, felt that sense of relief, like I’d gotten rid of something unwanted. Whether if it was Auntie’s kindness toward the neighbors, wanting to establish that connection, brought over the red guavas, or used it as an excuse to find herself some company, my move of buying those meat pies and delivered it to her door signified to her, that I will NOT, just accept a gift from someone for no reasons at all; and, the reason why I’d closed both my doors was because, if I’d only shut my wooden door like I usually would, then, Auntie would come ring my doorbell.

longing for visitors, not my photograph…

And, just like that, Auntie and I are in our separate houses, living alone, being alone, I’m comfortably, listening to music, surfing the web, reading. Don’t know if she’s watching television, or just, staring, into space? I’d closed these two doors, barred up my line of defense, kept everybody away.

As I’d recalled how lonely Auntie looked, I’d felt awful, and, maybe, had I only, chatted with her for just half an hour, it would’ve, brighten up her whole day?

Don’t know if after I’m elderly, will I be like Auntie too, so lonely? So in need, of company? And, I wonder, if other people will also, put up the two doors of defenses towards me too?

So, this woman, the neighbor, is probably just feeling lonely, and was in search of someone she can talk with, but, the narrator felt really annoyed, because she has her own life to live, and, she wasn’t willing, to put her life on hold, to carry on in conversation with this woman who lived alone, and, there’s nothing wrong with that, because we ALL need some alone time, it’s just, that maybe, this elderly woman who lives alone, is reaching out to this woman who’s her neighbor…


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