What love is

We sat together in her small flat.

Another pensioner with time on her hands, Edna was worried about the road drilling outside.

I wasn’t surprised. She had lived with it daily for the past two weeks, a relentless and nerve-jangling reverberation that made even conversation difficult. It would have driven me to despair, and possibly violence.

‘I don’t know how you put up with it,’ I said.

‘Oh, it’s not me I’m worried about,’ she said with a dismissive wave of her hand. ‘It’s the poor man with the drill.’

‘The man with the drill?’

‘Well, fancy doing that for a job! I only have the racket for a few weeks; he has it every day of his life!’

‘I suppose so,’ I say, struggling to access feelings of concern.

Love is putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, even when they have a road drill in their hands.

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