Dumpster Dave could not hear anything through the window. He could see that his wife Carol was singing and knitting an ugly sweater for Christmas. He stared at her, she was so beautiful, she was there. How is this possible? He tried knocking on the crystallized goop glass, nothing. She kept on knitting. He stayed there for hours observing how she put thread and needle carefully together. Her hands were always so eloquent, expressing joy- Carol loved the holidays. He could feel his eyes water but he couldn’t cry. Carol stopped knitting and got up, and turned off the light and left. Come back, he thought. Come back, is this it? The window darkened, there was nothing left to be seen. Dumpster Dave checked periodically throughout the day to see if anything else would show up. But nothing else did that day. He was angsty, restless. He slept on the floor of the workshop unable to clean up after all.
The next day, Dumpster Dave brought two bottles of wine with him and sat on the floor staring at the darkened window. He wished it would open again. He wanted to see her again. He sat there and drank until he finished one bottle. Nothing happened, and his stomach grumbled but he ignored it. There was no greater need than to see her again. He would piss in his pants if he had to. He would not miss it opening again. He opened the other bottle of wine and when he was about halfway done with that one he placed it aside, quickly because the window had opened again. He almost tripped trying to look and he placed his palms against it and saw through. It was the workshop again, and it was empty. And it remained empty for hours and then the window darkened again. Dumpster Dave pummeled at the window. He wanted to scream, but he didn’t. He reached for his half empty bottle and chugged the rest of his wine and flung it across the room. The bottle shattered and he saw it break into a million pieces as his nostrils flared in rage.
The same situation happened again, and again nothing happened. Dumpster Dave grew frustrated and drank every day looking at it. When finally, in a drunker stupor, something did happen. The room wasn’t empty anymore. But it was poorly lit, as if by a candle. And he thought he could see shadows moving. Elongated shadows from something out of view or someone- no- more than one. The shadows swayed and danced, always staying together- so intimately. Then the window darkened again. He didn’t remember ever setting foot in there with Carol. Who was that? He lay down, face down on the window and passed out, wondering, thinking, fuming.
The scenes on the window appeared more frequently. Dumpster Dave guessed the days were nothing happened was when the workshop had not been in use. The “memories” were in real time and were in random order. It had been over a month now, and nothing else had shown up like that night when those shadows appeared. Had he imagined it? There had been one where he saw Carol cleaning. Another where Carol fostered a litter of pups that had been abandoned while they were adopted. There was one where she read the entire day, and every day that he saw her he glued himself to the window and did not even eat. Dumpster Dave had lost a lot of weight, and he had not gone on his dumpster diving trips for a while now. Mail had piled up, nothing could distract him. Except, more drink. He drank more than he should have and would pass out all the time on the floor and one time, he managed to cry.
One day, as Dumpster Dave watched the window open, a strange scene appeared before him. There was a man. A man he didn’t know, and he was putting his shoes on, tying each knot carefully. He was talking, and smiling to someone behind him. Dumpster Dave stopped breathing for a second. A thought, he tried dearly to suppress, started to formulate in his head. Did Carol have an affair?