Andrew stoops down and picks up a forlorn pile of envelopes. They have been forgotten by the world and he empathises. The paper is coarse, crackling from a day on the doorstep in the blazing sun. He balances the pile on his palm while he journeys: up two flights of stairs, through an open door,…
Have you ever been driving at night, with only the headlights for company, and thought to yourself … just a nudge to the left?
Just a nudge to the left and the punctuation to my life would be a bright-burning fireball; metal concertinaed against a pole, maybe severing the power to the nearby town or the city. All those people, left in darkness. Just a nudge. Then, quick as the rain against the tarmac, the next thought: the ending would be more memorable than the life before. All those people left in dark—the widest ripple I can send out.
At least twenty seekers have joined the vigil. Their silhouettes are spread around the rooftop, between the metal piping and exhaust fans. They stand or sit in small groups or alone, as their motives dictate. Most wear masks—some matte black and some individuated like Syrinx’s.
Syrinx and I go our separate ways amidst the gathering. She initiated me, but she is not my keeper. Up here, we have no keepers.
I go over to the door and lock Jim and me into my coffin-width apartment. Jim’s sitting in his fat armchair, sipping from his flask. Staring at his finger—at the wedding ring he still wears. I pull out my watch and count the seconds. Because that’s how you pass time on duty. Tick by tick. Tick by tick. And then: Boom.