Underneath us we used to have a family of four: small girl, mother and father, Israeli-Americans, doctors, and then, last fall, a new baby. Now they have moved to a house, and we miss them, though we see them from time to time. I miss the sound of their washer-dryer coming up from below, the four year old going off to daycare with her father in the morning, they and their friends going and coming from the swimming pool, their voices from the pool.
And now we have a friend of theirs below, a man I've hardly seen, though he goes to work every day and I am often looking out the window at the sidewalk at that time of day. He goes in a wheelchair. His lower leg is held in a metal cage. He had an accident when he was walking on a cliff above the ocean, and the cliff collapsed, and he fell quite far down, he said. The leg is taking a long time to heal, and it is easier for him to go to work from our condo than from his old place in the country.