Page 14 - To Family with Love
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minds due to parental love, which for some reason doesn’t allow you to quit on your kid while you’re still a parent.
So, apart from me, the only permanent residents of our apartment were my ma and my old man, and that is, as the locals say, all that can be seen when the doors of our family open.
But our building, now that’s really something special and there’s a lot to show. Twelve floors, all one above the other, you can barely believe your own eyes. When you’re a kid, you have to lie on your back to see its top floor. If you go up to the twelfth floor and open the window, you will gaze in wonder as planes, helicopters and birds fly below you, with clouds swarming around them, producing rain and storms while you’re enjoying the sun and the view from above. And the view, the view relent- lessly overlooks everything far and wide, so I used to climb to the very top many a time and spend whole afternoons and evenings there, bursting with joy in all directions come sunset. It is the tallest skyscraper in the neighborhood, and it’s enough just to mention that you’re from the Giraffe and everyone immediately looks at you differently and knows exactly where you live. No more explanations are needed: the second street to the left, the third to the right... If you mention the Giraffe, everyone knows where it is. We also gave it a couple of nicknames, such as Gigi, Raff and the like. Some of our cities have half the population of our Raff – there are so many of us in that building that you can’t even get to know everyone. Despite that, I managed to peek into a fair share of the apartments, and I can only say one thing: when you see one apartment, you’ve seen them all. They are all similar and almost all suffer from overcrowding, chronic consti- pation and chronic pet shortage. All of them have floor-to-ceiling shelves, beds that come down from built-in closets or are pulled out of the most peculiar places imaginable, and balconies full of

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