The sky, when it shrugs off its habitual shawl of fog and low cloud, is blue. It flickers sometimes. A low, static cloud of dense dark grey settles over the town every few days, but I don’t like to divide the passage of time into days.
People say: I’m going to sleep now, and then they lie down and wink out of existence. That’s how I imagine it. I haven’t slept yet. I haven’t caught anyone disappearing, and yet they do.
I believe it’s been a long time, yet there are signs that not much time has passed, and since I don’t sleep it’s hard to tell. I’ve been awake long enough to know that I’m the only one who stays awake all the time. I watch the others sleep to make sure that they don’t disappear when they’re asleep. I try to read but I can’t keep the words steady in my mind long enough to take any nourishment from them. Mostly I stand at the window. Someone is playing in the yard. I see her clearly but only for a moment, and she’s horrified at how I look and her face shows it and I run away to the bathroom to brush my hair and run right through a woman. The sunlight that the child was playing in is gone. The woman is gone. I’m alone but when I move to the master bedroom I can see breath rising from the bed.
I didn’t know I could see that. I’m so fascinated that I watch, watch, watch, each little puff and I’m filled with grateful wonder that my eyes can bring me this. I bring my hand up to cover my eyes, to check if this is real or my mind is filling in some blanks, and then I wish I hadn’t. The scene has changed and I’m sitting on the ground in the open; the house has burned down and I was too busy looking at something else to notice. It bothers me that I missed the fire but on the other hand maybe people died and I’ll have company.
It doesn’t seem that way. I get the sky all the time but that doesn’t last. Workers walk through me and I let them pour concrete through me, thinking perhaps I’ll finally stop having to look at anything but my imagination.