Ratios

In the year I moved here the tall, red building had an incident. Every day the sun’s heat would expand the window, and every evening the air conditioning would shrink it again.

Over time this small, almost imperceptible movement stretched the seal around the window. This was an effect known to physicists and architects. But the developers were trying to save money.

There was a cost-benefits formula to make this decision, a specific calculation involving cost, probability, and payout potentials.

It was improbable, though completely possible, that one day one of the windows would pop out. This much was known, or should have been, just as gravity and force were understood to be true.

Around noon on an October weekday, a woman was walking her toddler daughter on the sidewalk. There was a crash. Witnesses described it as cymbals, as an unearthly noise. Then screams. Then this girl calling out for her mother, who had been killed instantly. Some said cut in half. I do not know the whole story.

I am not sure what the daughter saw or remembers or understands. I wonder what became of her, and every time I pass that building I look up at the 30th floor and hate those calculating, murdering bastards with all my heart.

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