Author: David Gianatasio

*Click, click, click!*

It’s on every channel. See what I mean? The show’s been off the air for years — what the hell? It wasn’t even that popular.

There’s nothing on the screen.

Excuse me?

There’s nothing on the screen.

Pfft. Maddening. Maybe the batteries in the remote are dead. Oh man, they’re corroded right through. Are these double- or triple-A’s?


You sure? Well, we don’t have any triple-A’s. I suppose I could just get up and change channels. O-kay…

That won’t make any difference.

Lemme try. SEE! EVERY CHANNEL. Can’t be a marathon. On one station, sure. But not all of them.

There’s nothing on the screen.

Well, actually, I kinda liked the show. It had monsters. I think it was about… I can’t remember what it was about or what it was called… It was scary and people always got killed in gnarly ways…

There’s nothing on the screen.

What do you mean. Just look, it’s in perfect synch on every channel. The exact same scene from the same episode. See! What are the odds? What are the chances?

Just stop, OK?

Stop what? Watching TV? I like it on. I like the sound it makes. I don’t like when it gets too quiet… When I can hear…

There’s nothing on the screen.

I… what? Why do you keep saying that?
No show. No picture. No “exact same scene from the same episode in perfect synch on every channel.” In fact, it’s blank on every channel. It was blank the whole time you were fiddling around with the clicker. It’s been blank for a long time.

What? I…

Ah, the majestic motorways! Driving in the open air. With the top down. Breeze blowing back our hair. Well, my hair, at any rate.

What are you talking that about?

Trees and hills blurring past. Empty skies above. I read somewhere that you could drive clear around the world. Start and finish at the exact same spot. I think a ferry’s involved someplace, maybe a couple of trains. Still, it’s mostly driving. How about a long, leisurely drive in the country? Of course, there’s not much to see. Overgrown luncheonettes and abandoned trailers with the windows smashed, doors open wide and empty business suits flapping like flags in the breeze. Those images have a sort of grandeur and resonance, don’t you think? Like crumbling viaducts and slime-skinned rivers and broken roads crammed with bumper-to-bumper traffic that hasn’t moved in years. Eight lanes in both directions going nowhere….

Shut up! Shut up!

You know, it’s very rude of you to point that thing at me. STOP CLICKING! That’s not going to work. You can’t turn me off. I’m here. I’m real. But you’re not.