Important Reflections on the Balcony

by Niall Chithelen

It’s getting colder now in Beijing, and I can’t help but feel for the clothing left outside to dry. They had to hang through the night and on through the weak sunrise, doing their best to catch the wind before the temperature drops again. How do they feel being out there for passers-by to see, all exposed, caught up in the dust and very small toxic particles?

I wonder if they catch cold when the temperature drops and they’re still damp. They might huddle together for warmth, but then they’d have to stay out longer, and no one wants that. Is it wrong to forget about them, or retrieve them late, only when it is convenient? Not for the fabric—which I have no idea about—but, you know, morally. They’ll survive, sure, but maybe they deserve better.

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