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3.4.07 14:46

the window

there were once two men, both seriously ill, in the same room of a great hospital. the room had only one window looking out on the world. as part of his treatment, one of the men was allowed to siz up in bed for an hour in the afternoon, while fluid was drained from his lungs. his bed was next to the window. but the other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.
every afternoon when the man next to the window was propped up for his hour, he would spend the time describing what he could see outside. the window apperently overlooked one of the lovely bays of the city with a view of the coastline. young lovers walked hand in hand along the shore. there were seabirds on the beach and children throwing them bread and building sandcastles. men and women were there swimming and surfing. there was sunshine, there were boats sailing out, there were holidaymakers and games of beachball. and at the back, behind the fringe of trees and buildings there was the fine harbour view.
the man lying on his back enjoyed every minute of it as he listened to the other man describing the colourful beach scenes. he heard how a boat nearly sank, and how a child was saved from drowning. these descriptions eventually made him feel he could actually see what was happening outside.
then one fine afternoon the thought struck him: why should the man next to the window have all the pleasure of seeing what was going on? why shouldn't he get the chance? he felt ashamed, but the more he tried not to think like taht, the more he wanted a chande. he would do anything!
one night, as he stared up at the ceiling, he heard the other man suddenly wake up, coughing and choking, his hand groping for the button that would bring the nurse running. but the man watched without moving - even when the sound of the other man's breathing stopped.
in the morning the nurse found the other man dead, and quietly took his body away. as soon as it seemed decent, the man asked if he could be moved to the bed next to the window. so they moved him over to the other bed and made him quite comfortable. the minute they left, he propped himself up on one elbow, slowly and painfully, ans looked out of the window.
it faced a blank wall.

22.4.07 11:17


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