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A Breeze is a Wonder Worth Clapping For

Our house is opening today to accept new windows. The old ones must be cut out. It takes a violence of tools to excise them, bludgeoning noise. I watch the gum-chewing contractor lean on a crowbar. Nails scream. Wood cracks. Shims slide from their prison to clatter on the floor. There is a certain gasp the house makes as the window holds to its position. The contractor mutters "Shit" and swings a hammer into the crowbar. Loud pop. The window falls. Raw sunlight floods.

The first window is out. Like a black tooth yanked from a swollen gum, the rectangle that awaits the new window breathes some sort of relief. At once free, it is also constrained. The rectangle that is the window's home can not extend past it's own perimeter. It needs the butting of the glass to fully realize itself. This is the same as us, I think. We are no different. My body the shape through which my mind culls the flavor from the world. But my body needs the edges of near things to realize itself.

Stop. Stop. I should go dig a hole. Linger and then let go.

My chair creaks as I shift. A fly lands on the rim of my Dr Pepper. My phone beeps with another email. The keyboard's clatter rises to meet my fingers. The contractor hammers. My daughter this morning was sour. Her skin warm. Mild fever. She had learned to clap and she claps at the strangest things. I saw her clapping last night at the fan. Each time it turned it's breezy mouth toward her, she clapped. I thought that was a fine thing. A breeze is a wonder worth clapping for.

"Keep your fingers out." I said to her, pulling them away from the grill. "Ouchie."

She looked up at me and clapped.

And there you have it. I have entered the realm of the breeze. I am a clap-worthy windbag.

Another window is pried from it's home. Nails groan. Glass cracks. It is the old glass, thin and brittle. I sit here in the hum of the monitor, the fan pushing papers across my desk. The contractor chews gum and waddles in his heavy belt. A new rectangle opens in front of me. The outside warmth isn't shy about rushing in. Sunlight and the dry smell of dirt seep in. Those things don't flood because the contractor is filling the open space. He looks at me a moment, perhaps scowls. People don't like to be stared at. I turn away while the world outside seeps in around me. It clamors at my back.

Hurry, I think. Hurry and put the new window in.