Window Dressings

Where we last found our hero the back window of his Ford Explorer had been smashed open to get at a bicycle. Since nothing else had been taken including a tennis racquet, a football, his spectacles or all the music he owned in the form of compact discs in the several hours since the robbery, not by the thieves nor by the hundred or so passerbys that walked by the open car, he could assume his belongings were not valued by dishonest members of the community. And since our hero was exceptionally cheap (so much so that chroniclers of his adventures commented, “I can see pain on your face when you spend money”) perhaps he would not need to replace the window.

That would be the case if he was in a different, more arid setting. But he was based in the tropics and it would only be a matter of time before the rain would enter the equation. And so he made some telephone calls. There was a place far away, over several bridges and past the airport where he was told his window could be replaced for $200. “Including labor?”

“Of course.”

And so our hero drove West with the breeze pushing at his back to a magical land called Doral where he went to a business called The Glass Doctor. He entered the store and was told by a large bald man named Pierre to wait as they fixed his vehicle. They had a large stack of Newsweek magazines from 2009. He read countless tributes to Michael Jackson and how the worst of the recession had ended when Pierre came out, “Bad news. We need to get two more parts or the windshield won’t stay. It will cost you another $150.”

And so now our hero was being robbed for a second time and he would need to return the next day when they got the part. Our hero returned to the waiting room when an hour passed and then another and Pierre declared the problem fixed and asked for his pound of flesh.

Our hero asked which land Pierre was from guessing, “France?”

“No, from Montreal.”

Our hero’s journeys had never taken him there. He did not appreciate the cold.

“You should go. It is nice. There is a hotel where everything is made of ice. The floors, the walls, everything but the doors.”

Our hero thought of this place as he drove home, but when he got there he found his back windshield had melted.

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