On Window-cleaning

It isn’t that hard after all, you think. Enough with the procrastination.

You arm yourself with old newspapers and a spray bottle of blue liquid that promises dazzling results.

You spray and you wipe. Big deal. Except that you just can’t do that. Annoying streaks leave their footprints behind. Your arm begins to ache in a bit. You realize that both sides need tender loving care in exactly the same way to achieve a clear, clean glass.

You learn that the method that works best is a square all around the corners, and then brisk horizontal strokes. The corners are the worst; the dirt stubbornly lurks in crevices that are beyond the reach of your large fingers. A spider has constructed a web so artfully that you never even see it till you clean the glass on the other side.

When you step back to admire your handiwork, you can see the places you’ve missed, the spots where you have not been diligent. The window pane reproaches. You apply yourself with renewed vigour.

When you are finally done, you sit back and look out through your window. The sky appears so much clearer.

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