There is a man outside my tenth floor office washing windows. I stop what I’m writing to stare. Surely he’s accustomed to rude people like me who are fascinated by his work? I’m relieved when he waves. I eagerly wave back.
He jumps off his window-washing swing (a slab of wood covered in carpet like the one I used when I was a child) and walks the pebbled building ledge. His playground swing is secured to two thick cables with a green canvas belt (sort of like the army kind). He’s wearing the same army green belt as a harness attached to another, more stabilizing cable.
He travels the ledge quickly, swirling his brush with finesse and finishing each window with the squeal of his squeegee. He doesn’t seem to mind my obnoxious gape.
When he completes the three windows outside my office, he stands at the stone edge and looks down (with no shaking hands or hesitancy), seemingly planning his next move with a colleague. He turns quickly and faces my office, mounting his swing. Snapping on his bucket and tools, he offers another kind wave, and disappears.
After he’s gone I can still see his ropes moving gently.