Gray Existence

I am sure there used to be colors. Back before the end of the world, before nothing mattered. Maybe in pictures, but pictures are blurry and gray and evil and old.

Subways are decidedly the worst. Everyone is miserable. It’s a rule. You must be miserable, and nobody will look you in the eye. If you look them in the eye, they’re allowed to kill you. And in the misery of unblinking, unbreathing bodies, I am always certain that someone, somewhere, is crying, sobbing for something they’ve lost a million lifetimes ago. The sky is dark, so dark I am considering it might be night again. I don’t know. Lately it’s just the same above ground as it is below.

They say “it’s darkest before the dawn,” but dawn hasn’t come in quite a while. The sky has stayed dark and emotionless ever since the sun exploded and poured dark paint into all of the places that used to have eyes.

I used to have eyes.

I suppose I still do, although I don’t seem to need them anymore.


Once upon a time there was a girl. Maybe… maybe that’s where we begin.

I was sixteen and largely unimpressed with the world when I met the witch. She was dark, and she was pretty, and she could tell a million lies without once opening her mouth. She called me beautiful, and I almost believed her. When you were with the witch, everything would seem so beautiful, and everything would seem so horrifying, that you couldn’t bring yourself to look away. She had blue eyes… maybe that’s all that matters because as all the colors disappeared, I still remember blue eyes.

I was nearly eighteen when we ran away from home. I was sure the car was red. I was sure her eyes were blue. Back before the ocean rose and swallowed the streets we drove away from, back before the stars fell down and melted the wax figures we called family. Back before the colors disappeared, and I learned to regret everything. We ran away from home.

We called the city ‘hellscape.’ The city meant freedom, and freedom meant war.

There was music. I was sure there used to be music, and the battle cries of deluded soldiers still ring fondly in my ears.

I was eighteen and two months when the witch disappeared the first time. We lived in a small, old room that I couldn’t bring myself to find beautiful. We lived far and off in hellscape and fought our little wars. She stole away in the night and was never to be found. I thought, she must have run to some other city to fight with some other poor soul, to find some other version of freedom. I was sure there were still colors, but they became dimmer.

I was nineteen when the witch came back. Maybe the original, or possibly a new one, nonetheless all the same. She wore flowers in her hair and red paint on her lips. I was sure she had blue eyes, and that’s all that matters.

We met outside a store that sold candy to children and beer to minors and misery to all who opened its doors. She was beautiful. She called me depressed.

She came with potions to take the fear away and spells to bring the colors back, raging and in full force. She had a bag of tricks that would make everything seem so beautiful and send me into an emotionless blur, free from the burdens of existence.

I was twenty when I realized I would never feel again. And it was when she realized that not even her many potions could fix my emotionless state. The witch disappeared for the second and final time.

I stood motionless and emotionless as the flowers and the fighting and the witches disappeared from my life.  

I was twenty-one when the world ended. I suppose that the oceans had been rising and the stars had been descending long before I opened my blank and senseless eyes. The world ended in a series of bright, flashing lights that ate away at any fragment of hope and any shred of sanity that I desperately clung to.

I was twenty-one when the colors disappeared and the world quickly changed into streaks of gray and black and white, like the fading hair of an old man.

I was twenty-one when I staggered onto a subway with useless eyes staring blankly ahead, feeling nothing, and listening to the insufferable sobbing of those who had lost everything, and thought of the uselessness in pulling my mind through this cold and broken world.

I was twenty-one when… once upon a time there was a girl… I was twenty-one when… maybe that’s where we begin… I was twenty one when…

Today I am twenty-two. And although birthdates stopped being recorded when the world ended, and the children disappeared, I suppose I still remember.

Like blue eyes.

I find solace in the fact that people still believe I may return to a place with colors…


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