The Parable Of The Window

“He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither.” – Benjamin Franklin

I used to live on the 11th floor of an old apartment complex in New York City. Every morning I would open the window and stick my head out into the air, taking in the sky above me and the city below me. One particularly beautiful morning my upper torso was gleefully lingering outside of the building soaking in the sun and some busybody saw me doing this and reported it to the building’s management. The next day my landlord called and told me it was illegal in New York City for windows to be able to open more than 4″ inches, citing “The New York Health Code Section 131.15” or the “Window Falls Prevention Program.” Swiftly they had window guards installed in my apartment, which made it possible to just barely crack open the window. My days changed a bit after that. I’d wake up and push my face against the glass and sometimes awkwardly snake my hand through the crack so my fingers could take the temperature. But what a small price to pay, really. Just think of all the lives this legislation has saved. And damn it feels good to know there is someone out there looking after me and my family, so that I don’t have to be responsible for what happens in my home. TC mark

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