grace unlimited
Ad 2:
2002-10-08 23:35:22 (UTC)

The window by G.W. Target

The Window
By G.W. Target

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same small
hospital room. One man
was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon
to help drain
the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room's
only window. The
other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives
and families,
their homes, their jobs, their involvement the military
service, where they
had been on vacation. And every afternoon when the man in
the bed by the
window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing
to his roommate
all the things he could see outside the window. The man in
the other bed
began to live for those one-hour periods where his world
would be broadened
and enlivened by all the activity and color of the outside

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake, the man
said. Ducks and
swans played on the water while children sailed their model
boats. Lovers
walked arm in arm amid flowers of every color of the
rainbow. Grand old
trees graced the landscape, and a fine view of the city
could be seen in the
distance. As the man by the window described all this in
exquisite detail,
the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes
and imagine the
picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade
passing by.
Although the other man could not hear the band, he could
see it in his
mind's eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with
words. Unexpectedly, an alien thought entered his head:
Why should he have
all the pleasure of seeing everything while I never get to
see anything? It
didn't seem fair.

As the thought fermented the man felt ashamed as first.
But as the days
passed and he missed seeing more sights, his envy eroded
into resentment and
soon turned him sour. He began to brood and he found
himself unable to
sleep. He should be the one by that window--that thought
now controlled
his life.

Late one night as he lay staring at the ceiling, the man by
the window began
to cough. He was choking on the fluid in his lungs. The
other man watched
in the dimly lit room as the struggling man by the window
groped for the
button to call for help. Listening from across the room,
he never moved,
never pushed his own button which would have brought the
nurse running. In
less than five minutes the coughing and choking stopped,
along with the
sound of breathing. Now there was only silence--deadly

The following morning the day nurse arrived to bring water
for their baths.
When she found the lifeless body of the man by the window,
she was saddened
and called the hospital attendants to take it away--no
words, no fuss. As
soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he
could be moved next
to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and
after sure he
was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to
take his first
look. Finally, he would have the joy of seeing it all
himself. He stained
to look out the window beside the bed.

It faced a blank wall.