by Leo Callanen
Every day I wake up hoping there’s something uncanny about my face. I sleep with my windows open, hoping you’ll somehow steal a glance of my maskless state. You smear your face with dark eyeshadow every morning and throw on an old hoodie and motorcycle helmet…I roll out of bed haphazardly and run my fingers through my greasy hair. Oh… I wonder how many times we’ve crossed paths? Maybe you’ve seen me already, and jotted some description down into that thick notebook of yours; maybe your genius matches my own, and by now you know where I live. My apartment is nothing to brag about, it’s certifiably nothing compared to the luxury you’re used to. It’s cramped and crowded; it’s the perfect place to hide some listening devices. Sneak a camera into an empty soda can and slip a bug behind my postered walls–I promise they’re not going anywhere. You said something about the shadows, about darkness, about fear. Well, it’s all I can think about as I gaze longingly into the pitch black, tracing my rough fingers across the dry wooden windowsill, hoping desperately that something will stare back. Someday, I tell myself, someday you’ll see. I can barely contain myself, waiting for the day it all clicks into place for you. The day when the pieces of the puzzle are finally, finally put together. Then, only then, will you see. By then you’ll have cleared me as some kind of suspect and brushed past me in the streets dozens of times. Being a nobody has its perks, you know. Here one day, gone the next, barely containing any thought in your mind–not knowing it’s me you’re looking for. Ohh, but someday, I sigh. It’ll all pan out exactly as planned, cool metal barring my wrists and my broken glasses pressed into my skin. I can picture it now: The cops will have me by then, that much is certain, but I know you’re near. Lurking, an ever-present force slinking among and in between the shadows. It’s almost too perfect. Piercing through the crowd of officers and the recital of the Miranda Rights, we’ll lock eyes once and for all. Maybe it’s been raining, heavy droplets sliding down your slick suit to meet the damp carpet and fogging the cracked windows of my apartment, undoubtedly mine in the eyes of justice. Maybe I’ve been a bit roughed up myself, over-eager officers slamming my face against the sharp corners of the kitchen countertop. Ah, that’s it, I chuckle to myself. Blood smeared across my cheek and water obscuring your vision, you’ll notice me once and for all. If they haven’t hurt me too bad, maybe I’ll force a smile.
And hopefully, you’ll spend the night wondering where you’ve seen me before.