Ants on FDR

The Squeaky Robot


I’m writing this on used-up hospital papers. They’re used-up by incoherent scribbles created by my dad, who is very much dying. He is sustained with wires and tubes, like a robot. A robot in search of an incoming signal and desperate for us to perceive his outgoing one. But we’re all failing, each in his and her own way.

This time, his room is directly above the FDR highway. A window facing south is new for us. Usually he has a direct view of Astoria’s low industrial buildings. It’s a nice vista for the early sun. Dusk from this vantage point is not worth mentioning. But then the city flickers on, like christmas lights slowly igniting, making up for the lack of stars above.

It’s from these windows that I like to watch the ants crawling around. Where are they going? Are they in love with someone? Are their lives amounting to what…

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