The World Outside

Looking Out At the World Outside.

This is Max, peeking out the screen door.

He’s a rescue and he came to us in 2012 along with his “sister”, Neko.  They’re indoor cats, their world is our apartment and they seem happy that way.  They are both declawed, they came to us that way, so a life outdoors will never happen.

This morning, the thought popped into my head that instead of Max sitting there, peeking out at the world outside, I could have drawn my wife.

For three years now, she has been going through treatment for Neuro Borreliosis ( Lyme) and a long list of other co infections. She has not been able to work for five years now and her life is a very isolated one. With no friends or family around, nobody ever comes to visit, nobody calls…there’s nobody there, ever…and I pictured her for a moment in my head sitting there behind the screen door, longing for something else.

I’ve known my wife since 1999. She worked at the place where I had my very first gig with my band David & the Citizens. May 6th, 1999.

I remember her talking about the USA, where she grew up. Always talking about Dallas, the warmth of the people and the humidity in the air. I remember her telling me about the time when her grandfather had been diagnosed with cancer; neighbors coming over with food and empathy. Longingly, she told me about those years and how much she missed it; the friendships, the feeling of togetherness and maybe a simpler time. I guess she hoped to reconnect with that feeling when we moved back to the US in 2009.

Since moving here, we have indeed gotten a lot of help from people. We started a new life from scratch and we have struggled for years now. The feeling of friendship and community that she had hoped for has, however, not appeared. Since she started her treatment people around us have gradually disappeared. Fewer and fewer people have kept in touch and these days we are totally isolated from the rest of the world.

My wife in particular.

I have a job to go to five days a week, eight hours a day. I meet people, I interact, I socialize…she sits at home alone. No phone calls, no visitors. Nobody. She takes a yoga class every day, as it helps with the detox from all the medicines she takes. I drive her when I can. I pick her up every day on my lunch break as nobody else ever offers her a ride.

Recently, a guy who practices at the studio had an accident and broke his leg. Within a week there was a carpool set up with other students taking him to and from class. He lives two blocks from us and they have to pass our house on the way to the studio. Not once have they offered my wife a ride.

She looks out through the screen door, longing to be part of the world, but the world seem to be slipping away…


About David Fridlund

Born in Sweden 1974. Moved to Austin TX in 2009 w my wife.
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