• Vol. 01
  • Chapter 05
Image by

Blank Slate

Out of the corner of my eye, I see a flyin...


I always imagined I'd see the birds piled up neatly. The animals carefully placed aside, just out of harm's way, but it wasn't like that at all. Instead there was nothing. It was awkward really. Bill once said, people couldn't handle babies & animals shown dead on TV. But their absence made it unrealistic. Now I'm thankful for that absence.

I'm walking around and I see nothing. No one. No traces. Just everything in its proper place. Almost like a kid had just cleaned up their playhouse. It's perfect, beautiful even. But I'm still confused.

I don't know what to do. So I find myself running. I live on the edge. Chicago. Oak Park. Chicago. Cicero. Berwyn. It's all the same. So I go back to my starting point. I wonder if I am dreaming or dead. Do they see me? Am I experiencing a psychotic break? I stand in the middle of the street. Are they swerving around me? I'm now in the middle of of the oncoming expressway ramp. I'm lying down. They can't pass me if they're there. I'm rolling down. But nothing. Emptiness. Asphalt. 290 is blank. And I'm left alone.

My mind wanders to what I have & haven't done. Did Paul get my package? Will I ever meet Karen's baby? Will I ever see my mother's warm smile again? Did I miss my chance to explore Berlin with Johanna? Is it just Chicago? What about Chuckles out east, or Mish in Kentucky. Anthony, Kimmay, Song. Are they okay? Are they alive? Were they ever real? I'm so confused.

I hear nothing. Just deafening silence. Lisa told me once the deaf are always hearing a sound, a constant white noise.


Blank Slate

Like the sound at night in the dark when nothingness surrounds you. Its the sound of our minds playing tricks on us. But I don't even hear that. It's just silent.

I'm gasping. I'm screaming. No sound is coming from me. I hear nothing. I see nothing. The world is blurring around me. I'm panicking.

So I stop.

I'm in the middle of the road. There is nothing is coming. Nothing is here. Yet I begin to hear again. My imperfect sobs. My defeated footsteps. My low moans.

But nothing else.

With the world as my closet, I can do anything and go anywhere, but instead I panic. I miss her. I miss my mother. My dog. My friends. My family. My future... and my past.

I find myself climbing the overpass fence. As I look down, I see the CTA tracks below me. I'm atop the station roof, and survey the land far and wide. As far as I can see, there is nothing.

Just nothing.

I close my eyes and say a prayer for the first time, in as long as I can remember. “Forgive me Father...”

As I'm falling, out of the corner of my eye, I see a flyin...