The Space Under the Window
By Alison Frane (and Suzyn Jackson)
A man with strong shoulders and a sore back crouched in the
void, holding aloft a window. It was a magical window: through
it, it was good.
A small child danced and pranced his way up to the man holding
- "Hey, Mister," questioned the child, "Why
are you holding this window?"
- "This is my purpose," the man explained with much
- "Hm," said the child, and he skipped through the
window and was gone.
Then, a strong, brave hero strode up to the man holding the
- "You," the hero demanded, "Why are you holding
- "This is my obligation," said the man with dignity.
- "Hm," said the hero, and he stepped squarely on
the window-sill, briefly adding his weight to the weight of the
window on the man's shoulders, before he was gone.
Next, A feeble old grandfather tottered up to the man holding
- "Why are you holding up this window, my son?" the
old man asked.
- The man sighed. "This is my burden," he replied.
- "Hm," said the grandfather, and he climbed up to
the window, stepping on the man's toes, knees, elbows, and nose
before he clamored through the window and was gone.
Finally, a beautiful woman with long, flowing hair stepped
up to the man holding the window. She placed one bare foot gracefully
on the window sill, and then changed her mind, and knelt before
the man holding the window.
- "Excuse me," she asked, "Why are you holding
- The man looked deep into her eyes and gave the question more
thought than perhaps he ever had. "I don't know," he
- "I am going through the window," she said, "Do
you want to come with me?"
- He thought again for a moment. "Yes," he replied,
realizing it was so.
- Suddenly, the window felt lighter on his shoulders... and
He stepped out from the space under the window and stretched
his back. The window trembled slightly, and came to rest in exactly
the place where he had held it so carefully for so long. She took
his hand and smiled at him. Together, they leapt through the window.
And it was good.