One of the two lifts has been beeping in its shrill voice. Sometimes someone does not close the shutter inside properly, and it beeps to indicate this. When we went for a walk two hours ago, this lift was beeping on the second floor. When we returned after the walk and some shopping, it was still beeping two hours later.
It took me just 2-3 minutes to take the other lift to the second floor. I thought perhaps it had developed a fault, but I went to check, just in case. I found the shutter inside the beeping lift fully open. I shut it, and it resumed its silent working.
I noticed that one of the four flats had its door wide open hardly two steps away from the lift, and people were about. They were talking loudly, which is perhaps why they did not hear the beeping, even though it was shrill enough to bother me on the fifth floor. Or else, they were so used to the sound that they ignored it.
It got me thinking that loudness drowns out so much. We hear only ourselves, our own world. Not our neighbours, not our children, not our spouse. Definitely not the rustle of leaves as the long-awaited breeze begins to blow, or the grumble of thunder before the rains come. We don't hear the pain in between sentences or the truth behind sweet lies.
Perhaps that is why some people are loud, to drown out things they do not want to hear, and accepting or not caring that they also stop hearing so much else.