The other man had tospend all his time flat on hisback.
They spoke of their wivesand families, theirhomes, their jobs,
their involvement in the militaryservice, where they had been onvacation.
And every afternoonwhen the man in thebed by the windowcould sit up, hewould pass the timeby describing to hisroommate all thethings he could seeoutside the window.
The man in the otherbed began to live forthose one-hourperiods where hisworld would bebroadened andenlivened by all theactivity and color ofthe world outside.
The window overlooked a parkwith a lovely lake.
Ducks and swans played on thewater while children sailed theirmodel boats. Young loverswalked arm in arm.
As the man by the windowdescribed all this inexquisite detail, the man onthe other side of the roomwould close his eyes andimagine the picturesquescene
One warm afternoon the man by thewindow described a parade passingby. Although the other man couldn’thear the band – he could see it in hismind’s eye as the gentleman by thewindow portrayed it with descriptivewords.
One morning, the day nurse arrived tobring water for their baths only to findthe lifeless body of the man by thewindow, who had died peacefully in hissleep. She was saddened and calledthe hospital attendants to take the bodyaway.
As soon as it seemed appropriate, theother man asked if he could be movednext to the window. The nurse washappy to make the switch, and aftermaking sure he was comfortable, sheleft him alone.
Slowly, painfully, he propped himself upon one elbow to take his first look at theworld outside. Finally, he would have thejoy of seeing it for himself. He strained toslowly turn to look out the window besidethe bed……..