Shorter works

A joke

A man walks along a dark corridor. He opens a window, one of many windows that he has previously tried; so tired is he of the sight through them that he now opens them unconsciously and barely bothers to glance at the view; but when he opens this one he is greeted with a glorious sight. Tears well up from deep within him and obscure his view; he struggles to breathe through his aching throat, which feels as though having been slit with a knife, but he gasps and steadies his rushing heart. He wipes away the tears but more keep coming; he cannot believe this sight. To save himself falling to the floor, he sits down against the back wall; he sits on a bench there that some kind soul has placed, as though specially to save his fall.

Two days pass and he has gone about his daily chores. The chores seem lighter, so much lighter—feeling now almost a pleasure—and the inside of his mind is still burning with the sight of that view, a sight which he is sure he will never forget. But still he treads those corridors, and, through habit, still he opens more windows. But now he is not looking at the view at all, for he has already seen his glorious view and it is not therefore possible for him to find another—no other view could ever have that same effect on him, the effect that he has been awaiting for years, for decades; no other view could ever affect him like this again, but still he looks, for something is wrong. He walks the same corridors and within him he still carries a deep sadness, like a faint but ever-present feeling that he is concealing some terrible secret. And the secret is that there is no daylight coming tomorrow.

But there is a mistake somewhere, he thinks—for he has now seen that glorious view, yet this deep, terrible secret that he carries around is still there within him. The view should have dispelled this feeling, surely! Or else, why was he looking for it for all those years? why did he keep opening window after window as a religious part of his daily routine—why, if on finally seeing that view, he still feels this!

He treads the corridors—in the certain knowledge that the daylight will not be coming tomorrow, and accepting that.

He has stopped opening windows, for he now knows that no view is going to dispel this terrible secret that he must transport until he can find a way to share it with someone, to truly share it. Yes—he realizes—that will be the only way for him to stop feeling like this. But all he knows is how to open windows and that has now failed him, so where else can he find someone to share this burden with, to offload it, where will he find such a person, if not through one of those windows?

He feels, perhaps, that someone has played a joke on him.

26 April 2010