Glass

When we bought the house, twelve window panes had lost the seal between their two layers of glass and were clouded over. It was like looking through rain on a dirty train window or through the wrong prescription. Four in the kitchen, four in the guest room (ha!), four in Richard’s studio, all on the ground floor. The plan was to wait until summer to pop them out one by one and bring them to the glass store in Hudson. We had to learn how to pop them out and how to pop them back in. It was terrifying until Richard mastered the right way. We were hurting our fingers and shoulders and hating existence. In these moments, I wanted to let it go and live in the cataract limbo. I wanted to jump ship because I knew Richard would get it done with or without me. I didn’t jump ship. The best thing about our relationship is how one of us will care about something with insane intensity the other one couldn’t care less about. 

Today our beloved glass installer told us about the time he cut his thumb nearly off. It was hanging by some skin. He called his wife and calmly said he was spurting blood and asked if she would drive him to the hospital in Great Barrington. He referred to the hospital up the street from the shop, using the word death. It was the Bates Motel of hospitals. People check in but they don’t check out. He said he was stitched up by a team of brilliant surgeons and was back working at the shop in two hours. I wondered if he was in shock or just needed to know he hadn’t chopped off his life.

Living here, in a sense, I have chopped off my life and can’t see it through mist, and I don’t know what to make of this because, in the midst of radical change–I don’t mean me, I mean the whole of society–when you look back or ahead, what can you really see?

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