Defenestration: A Love Story

Matthew Simmons


That whole thing about glass flowing because it's liquid mostly and how when you see warps in the window and a warp to the world outside a window, you are looking at glass flowing? That thing is complete bullshit.

That whole thing about birds running into your windows because they see inside and think that life inside your home is way better than the lives they have in the outside world, so they run into your windows hoping to break through and, because of the great amount of effort they have gone to or expended or whatever, you'll let them live with you or be forced to give your lives to them and take their places as birds out in the open world while they get to carry on as people living people lives? That's complete bullshit, too.

That whole thing about how the safest thing to wear in a warzone is a suit made of bulletproof glass from the windows of the Pope's car because not only is the glass bulletproof, it has also been blessed by God and God's servants on Earth to be impenetrable by all the many kinds of projectiles the evil species called Humanity chooses to project at one another, and how you can buy a suit like that on the internet for your friends and relatives who live or fight or both live and fight in a warzone? That's a bullshit scam and someone should go to prison for it.

But when they say the best way to prove to someone that you love her or him is to throw her or him out of a window, they are telling you God's honest truth.


At one time, the proper method of political assassination in the city of Prague was defenestration—the tossing of one's leader out of an open window.

At a much later time, but not the time that is now, the proper way to show love was to toss the one you love out of a window. Maybe it seems odd now. But then, you loved and you longed and you grabbed hold of the one you wanted to be with and you picked them up and you threw them out the window.

The streets were fine and free of obstruction, but the sidewalks were littered with bodies. The houses were quiet and the buildings were empty. Our lives were valuable because they were so precarious. Because love was so dangerous.

You understand?

Of course you don't. How could you? The world was the world. The world now seems like the world—seems like it to you—but the world never really is the world or it always is. You love someone, you write him a letter. You love someone, you write her a song. You love someone, you open a window, grab hands, feet, backs, give a swing, let go, and away from you they fly.

It was not a fever. It was not a culture gone insane. We were sure about what we were doing. We were not out of our heads except out of our heads in love and that's what that was.

That's what that was. You're missing the point. You sit in your chair and you miss the point entirely, is all. That's all. Sitting and missing. And it's almost like you want to. It's almost like you mean to.

A lot of folks miss the point these days. I blame the way we don't understand about what life was like back when you risked your life all the time just by living and by maybe being the target of someone's love. Risked it by going to work in any building over two stories, I mean. Risk is a thing that is beautiful, that's what I think.

A window is a thing that is beautiful, that's what I think. Look at this one between us and the sky. What if we opened it up and we just threw you out? What if we saw what that's like? Do you think you'd understand it better? Because I did, at some point—I lived in a world where the windows were open and the sky was filled with the shouts and the screams of the loved. Can you imagine such a thing? A world with love in the great, blue, open, cloudless, empty, shining, stupid, pointless sky?


At the time, we were like: This is a window. It's used for all kinds of things, but the thing I like best to do with it is to throw people out of it. That's what I think is the best of all things to do with a window. And as I have said so many times before, what I mean when I throw you out of a window is I love you. That's what I mean and what I like to use a window for. Got me? This thing is hardwired into me is what I want you to know.

Windows and skies and bodies in the air, my friend. Windows and skies and love. See how I mean this? See how you out in the air and falling and falling is me in love with you? What's the best way to love? says the crowd. Tossing you out of a window is my answer. Who do we toss out a window? says the crowd. The ones we love and the ones we want to express that love to, I respond. When do we hit the ground? asks the crowd. The moment we know love is real, I say. But do we know it's real because we hit the ground, or do we not hit the ground until the moment we really, truly feel like, Yes, it is real and we are loved? asks the crowd. I don't know how to answer that question. I think it's both, but I don't know if that is an answer that makes sense to anyone but me and the one I love, who has hit the ground already and doesn't have an answer to offer.

We are loved. Have I told you that? Have I mentioned it? I hope so. I hope I've remembered to say that. It's the most important thing of all.

So, a tribute to all the window washers who make our sight of love in the air so very, very clear. Let's toast to the man with the squeegee and the pail of soapy water, who likes to be up high and on a platform with a winch that is good for making a platform rise up on the outside of a building and then also lowers it down, though the rising is the best thing for the platform. Lowering down is for falling, and falling fast and faster. Lowering down slow is a mockery of love. Our best to the ones who like to clean the high, dizzingly high windows that let us fall to love's real finish line.