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 the window.

"Hey, Mister," questioned the child, "Why are you holding this window?"
 
"This is my purpose," the man explained with much passion.
 
"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 window.

"You," the hero demanded, "Why are you holding this window?"
 
"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 the window.

"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 this window?"
 
The man looked deep into her eyes and gave the question more thought than perhaps he ever had. "I don't know," he said.
 
"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 lighter still.

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.