The Other Side of Envy

Audio: The Other Side of Envy

There is a woman in my condo building that has brought out my green-eyed monster. I’m not jealous of her. I envy her condo.

The condo building has two towers, and she lives at the top of one of them, in the penthouse. I don’t wish I had her square footage or her elevation. What I envy are her terraces.

I have a six-foot-wide, fourteen-foot-long balcony. The glass door to my long, skinny balcony is 24 inches wide. If I want to bring a little table and chairs out there, I need to ask my next-door neighbors if we can bring them through their sliding glass door and then over the railing that separates their back balcony from my only balcony.

The woman in the penthouse has terraces with trees in great pots and a greenhouse. She can walk out onto one of her terraces and sit under a tree.

Today, in the lobby, I ran into the woman in the penthouse. Her face looked puffy and I wondered about her health, her happiness.

She told me this was her last day in the building. She and her husband had divorced, and she was moving across the river to one of the Kentucky river towns. We talked longer than we normally would because she was sad.

When I got back up to my place, I looked out the big window and watched the snow fall gently in front of the grayed skyline of Cincinnati.

I was grateful for my condo, for my little balcony, and my view of the city that changes with the day. I was glad there was no one I had once loved who could tell me I had to leave, glad I didn’t have to move to Kentucky and look back across the river at the building that had once held me.

Sometimes in my home, I feel lonely, but today I feel grateful.

Chewing the Cud of Good

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Thankful for my neighbors who watch out for me.

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