I often see two men walking around the neighborhood. In winter they wear a long coat, both the same pattern; in summer, dark jacket and red tie. One is a little taller than the other, they are old and fragile. They look a lot alike. I don’t know if they wear the same clothes, shoes, glasses. You would say they are brothers, even twins. They could also be a couple. They say that couples who have lived together for many years end up looking alike. Like owners and dogs.

Being born at a time not conducive to showing their love outwardly, it could well be that they had chosen to wear the same clothes, comb their hair the same and thus pass for siblings. To protect yourself. To be able to walk quietly down the street.

I see them, early in the morning, as they go shopping. They walk slowly. If I pass them by, they talk softly, as if they were protecting their bubble so that no one would disturb them. They are surrounded by a silence that exudes tenderness. They go to get the bread and go to the market. They don’t push a cart to load for the whole week, they don’t have enough strength. Just a bag. What are we going to do for lunch today? For dinner, a slice of cheese and some fruit.

Whether they are brothers, friends or lovers, their story could keep company with the twelve written by journalist Marta Vives in Diguem-ne amor. Unrequited love of youth. Loves of solidarity, of neighbors, of comrades, of helping each other. Love and polyamory, overcoming jealousy, running away from the feeling of ownership. Loves that transcend established conventions and add more love around them. Friends who shared a student flat and twenty-five years later rented the same flat for a weekend, now a tourist apartment. They relive memories and know that they have each other for as long as time passes.

Vives invites us to enter the intimacy of characters and experiences in which we recognize ourselves in some corner, that surprise us, that understand us. With it we puncture the bubble of those we have seen having coffee next to us, with whom we have shared a song, who work with us, who live on the same scale, or who we see go hand in hand to buy bread. “Without silence, love is not possible.”