A Window Cleaner’s Dream

SONY DSC“He would shine and polish windows day after day, running the soaked sponge in big tidy but quick circles, swiping the smudges and scars from the glass. He was the smith who cleared the path for others to envision with freedom, unobstructed; himself living a life in the shadow of his long bygone aspirations.

Balanced on a ladder, greased bucket in hand, pieces of plaster stuck in dry tuft of hair, dust mules glued like constellations on the white of his rugged shirt, his ripped jeans was damp. His eyes, which once shone with the light of life, which had encompassed his spirit and youth, which used to glitter with the kindle of ambition, now pulverised his soulless reflection in the window screen.

Subdued and suspended into deep thoughts, he guilelessly dipped his fingers in the can of cyan paint. Like the stroke of a brush, he unmindfully dotted the window with little daisies, white leaves and sharp artful veins. His fingers still remembered what his mind had forgotten – a passion so deep, so inert that it had clung to his soul. 

A nippy wind ran past his feet. He quivered and tumbled down a step on the ladder and was snapped to the harsh, spectacular truth of reality. He looked at the beautiful musing he had drawn on the large glass window. He smiled an open mouthed smile, more a gasp of ineptness and weak desperation than awe. His existence reeked of lost hope.

He dipped the sponge into the bucket and scrubbed the shield slowly, erasing all impediments. ‘It’s too late’, he thought, as he failed his dreams another time. He had become a manoeuvre of the double glazed glass which he was cleansing – hollow.”  

Young Geram heard the story without uttering a word. He found it poignant, but he believed he had missed the point of it. “Why this story of all, Abba?” 

“You must remember Geram, that a window cleaner has dreams too. Alas, the world taxes his ambitions like everyone else’s, indifferently. The only variance is that he lets it.”

He smiled a sorrowful smile. “Now go to sleep, it’s dark.” He brushed Geram’s hair.

As he turned away to sleep, his eyes caught a glance of the ladder and bucket that rested harmlessly at one end of the compact room. For a moment, he almost found humour in the bitter cards life had played him.  He shut his eyes in peace; sleep offered him the luxury to envisage.


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