Today’s entry comes from another bout of Writer’s Block. Well… maybe it’s not writer’s block, per se. I’m just not in the best of moods and was acting petulant about having to write my daily 500 words. I simply didn’t feel like writing. at all. But I had to. I am committed to this. At first, I tried music. Often times I can put on a song that will get my creative synapses firing and, even if it’s not great, I can get something out. Today, there was none of that. The worry, the frustration, all of it was taking over my bright happy place like The Blob devoured that small town in Pennsylvania. So I closed my eyes. I took all the negativity I was feeling and tried to turn it into an image or some sort of picture I could describe. Then I started writing.
A small foot-shaped indention is impressed in the ash and dust that has settled upon the remains of this city. Few structures still support their roofs; glass is only found in shards, whether it be on the ground or left in a pane. Poles supporting long, once-live wires that connected one phone to another lean, like a jagged reminder of what once was, against the gray sky background. Some lie like a corpse upon the ashen ground. The wires droop from them like long strands of old spider’s web. The only thing clinging to it now was dust. There were no bugs to feed a spider’s hungry belly, but no spiders to go hungry either.
Shadows lurk around corners, under collapsed floors, and in doorways. The facades of the old buildings, if they haven’t already collapsed forward in a spill of bricks and mortar, stare out blankly at the street. The ash and dust rest an inch deep on everything, like sooty snow that refuses to melt. There’s silence. Not even a soft wind yawns to stimulate the ears and disturb the dust. Yet through this calm that followed the chaos, a thin trail of foot-shaped indentations wind down the streets, around obstacles, and through shadows. Something here lives.
Life left this place a long time ago, leaving behind not even a photograph of someone who had once lived. It is just emptiness that has faded from memory. Plants don’t even grow here. Birds don’t sing or fly here. The sun that pierces the clouds isn’t even warm on your skin.
Yet now there are footprints.
I am the only one who comes here, who remembers. I have lived more years than I ever thought possible when in my youth. Those were the days filled with people. I remember sometimes getting overwhelmed that there were so many of them; wishing for some time just to myself, away from everyone else. I remember having a room that I considered “mine” – a room and that was it. Now it’s all mine, and I wonder if I’ll ever see another person like me again.
And now there are footprints.