There was a block of flats which called themselves apartments because there were long hallways lined with doors and through these doors were dwellings or flats or apartments.
The residents or inmates or people didn’t see any reason to close their doors on this hallway, so as you paced its length you would hear and see all sorts. Most of this was not from the people through the doors but from the people inside the TVs inside the apartments.
You could walk up and down for hours on end, watch through a door for an hour, and no one would notice. I lived in the hallway for over two decades and my presence didn’t seem to be intrusive. Even when I watched on as a teenager tried to slit his own wrists, was calmed down by his mother, given his first drink and asked important questions like ‘would you like another?’ to which he’d respond ‘of course’ because he couldn’t say ‘I don’t care’. There would have been more questions so he didn’t have the heart for apathy.
It was a funny place to live, this hallway. So many voices gave no conversation because answers that mattered didn’t matter here but silence wasn’t tolerated.
I was content for a long time living here but I left to see what conversation was like. People who keep their doors closed can be much more interesting, I’ve found. But some people make me wonder if their doors are just painted paper.