by Jimmy Chen
Every day they would turn on the TV and a channel would be missing. They would worry about these channels, and wonder what kinds of stories they were not being told. Down a channel one by one, until one day there was only one. They would watch this channel into the night, past the infomercial myths, until the pale orange light of the sunrise, almost embarrassed by its new day, palmed the walls behind them.
They would look at each other briefly, partially blinded with seared rods, sediment under their eyelids. The remote control was named Mu; they pet it gently as it slept on the coffee table. It was morning, but it was also night, somewhere. As implicated by an imaginary ray emitted from his index finger, was a pile of ash where he used to work. "I burned down the office," he said.
"Yes, you say that every day," she said. She poured some cereal on the table and threw a carton of milk at the wall. He looked at her and froze. Mu sprang awake, jolting the TV to the morning news: a traffic jam, a small girl, a big government, etc. A pale dot in the sky means god is blind in one eye, a sad cyclops.
Every day they would turn off the TV and leave their home. They would get into their cars and sit still in a long line of other cars doing the same thing. Every person in every car would occasionally look at the person next to them and look away. Had they been more alpha, life might have been beta. Birds above hallucinated patterns, flew into trees which carved out the spaces where buildings had once been.
About the author:
Jimmy Chen maintains a blog and archive of his writing at jimmychenchen.com. He contributes at HTMLGIANT and lives in San Francisco.