A Glum Window

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after reading Claro by Joy Williams that Tao Lin sent us here at Frank Sauce, along with Samual Beckett's short fiction, both of which I read over the weekend. With apologies to Robert Walser and Jesse Bernstein

There is a harbor. I was a harbor once as I may be a harbor again.

As I sit here, this is where I must sit; that is, there is a unique knowledge that comes from sitting here rather then any other place I could sit. And I have sat, just as I am sitting now, in many places and none compare to this place I’m sitting now. I know this to be true.

There was a window once that looked glum. I remember the window now, sitting here, along this harbor, in the only place I could or ever would sit now. Yes, it was a glum window. It was the only window along its wall. The window owed its life to the wall, the only wall to know this particular window. They contained each other; they were companions, because they shared common purposes. When I knew the wall and the window, the wall was in need of paint and the window was in need of panes. The wall was still cheerful though. It was one of those walls that always saw something good in any situation. The window was not this way. It was often depressed and felt alone in its dinginess. A window, just like the window, sat in another wall across the alley way and sparkled in the moonlight, when it was clear and the moon had zenithed. The window lived in the shadows of other buildings. The window would never see the sun or the moon at their apex.

I felt sorry for the window. I was a young man in my first apartment in the city. The window was my first window, yet it was still glum. At the time, it was the only window I had. Although I had eight walls, the wall that held the window was not as important as the window within the wall, though as I think of it, this wall was more important than the other walls to me, because it possessed my only window. However, the window didn’t know, or seem to care if it did know, that I was an artist of grand aspirations and might write about it someday. The window didn’t seem to understand its importance.

Of course, this was all before I was a harbor.

My sympathies toward the window grew every moment that I was in the kitchen. The kitchen wasn’t really a kitchen, but a few counters and a few cupboards, which contained a sink and countertop stove, a small refrigerator and a garbage can, in one corner of the apartment. I thought they were all marvelous. I had a particular fondness for the sink and its faucet and drain. In the morning with my coffee, the glum window would sit there uninspired, tired of showing me the alley and the brick wall opposite, even during the first few days I lived in that apartment. The glum window had seen all this thousands of more times than I had. Each morning with my coffee and biscuits at the kitchen table, I would stare out the window at the brick wall across the alley, cracking the window a bit to bring in the cool city air, and there I would sit and sip my coffee and eat my biscuits. When the window became so despondent, I would go to the sink and wet a cloth and scrub and clean the window inside and out, hoping that a fresh bath would enliven its spirit. Even after its bath, the window would sit there in its wall. It would sag in the depression of itself, disfiguring my view of the brick wall opposite the wall that held my only window.

The window stayed glum the whole time we shared an apartment.

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