The Tower


  We slowly make our way through the streets towards the CN tower. We’re now so close we have to crane our necks to see the bulbous growth in it’s midsection, let alone the spire piercing the clouds above. It’s dusk and I’m working myself up to make the unpopular suggestion that we stop for the night. One last cram session before I’m up to bat. It’s bottom of the ninth and my deceitful past is pitching fastballs.

  I’d suggested we come here, to Toronto that is, what seems like forever ago. It is only now, with our goal in sight, that I become nervous. Scared of what the others will say if they discover my ulterior motive for leading them here. My reasons were surreptitious to say the least.

  But what choice did I have? The thought of separating from the only other living beings I’d encountered in the four months since the flash was terrifying, but to give up hope about my family, about her, it was worse. Way worse. So I’d combined the two. Told Scott and Sarah and Katy Perry about the tower, how we could use it to distribute a message. A signal. A cry for help. I’d exaggerated my limited skills in the communications field, lied, really, told them we might find others like us, those who had survived.

Toronto was always a beautiful city. Back when I was a kid and playing in the street with my friends, completely ignorant to the horrific fate that awaited me decades down the line, I couldn’t appreciate it. As I grew and my abilities to value such things broadened I was held back still by it’s familiarity. I wanted out, away from mom and dad and my two sisters who loved me more than anything in a way I could only comprehend as strange and belittling. But now, finally, upon my triumphant return to it’s broad streets and tall buildings, back to one of the friendliest cities in the world, at long last I find myself in awe of it all. It’s wearing it’s new skin, of course – Post-Flash Avant-Garde. The place is cold and desolate and deserted, it’s beauty finally and truly arresting.

  Did I have any faith in the plan myself? I don’t know. I believed in duty enough to make a couple of stops along the way though. Crept out to the Millennium Library in Winnipeg during our brief visit and loaded up on reference books and crammed every night since. Mostly I just want to get it over with, win or lose it doesn’t matter, so I can drive over to the old Forest Hill ‘burbs and go to my old house and find piles of clothes for them all and cry myself into closure for the first time since it happened.

  It seems so long ago now it’s hard to remember the plans inception. We were camped out in a basement of some mansion in Regina. Everything was different back then. Everyone was different back then. They hadn’t warmed to the idea initially, but as the weather further north grew deathly cold it made more sense to travel with the warmth. We packed what little we had and began hopping from car to abandoned car, sweeping away the abandoned clothes into the road with the rest of them. Sarah always cried when we found bundles in the back seats, miniature pairs of pants and socks and tee shirts with pictures of Bart Simpson on them saying “Eat My Shorts!”.

  Sarah used to cry a lot back then. She doesn’t cry anymore.


~ by Joseph Blame on August 31, 2010.

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