Joey’s wife wakes up next to him to find his eyes gone. She marvels at the nothingness where
they used to be. Not eye sockets, not muscle and tissue and bone, but simply nothing. Not even
that, for to say there is nothing implies that she can see clear through Joey’s head, but she cannot.
She sees an absence. A naught. Two little voids in Joey’s head where existence simply stops.
    In the two voids she sees everything that she fell in love with twenty years and two
daughters ago. She sees a young Joey ask her for a scantron in economics class at UCLA. She
sees Joey inflating a beachball at Santa Monica. She sees Joey holding their baby daughters, one
in each arm, and running in circles so they can pretend to be Superman.
    She makes breakfast for him for the first time in months. Pancakes drenched in syrup.
Joey looks like a new man to her, the way he mechanically shovels pancakes into his mouth,
syrup dribbling down the sides of his cheeks.
    “Will you be okay driving to work? Now that you don’t have eyes and all. I can drive you
to the office if you’d like.”
    Joey does not respond. He simply stares at her, syrup still on his cheeks. And in his two
little naught-circles, she sees everything she needs to know. She sees them together in old age,
their children grown up and successful (a lawyer and a dentist), and a beautiful house near the
mountains. She weeps with joy.

In the office elevator, Joey does not press any button to go up. He simply stands there in a suit
and tie, holding his briefcase in his right hand, his two orbs of nil and null swirling into
nothingness. Soon the elevator is filled with coworkers, all of them entranced by the two
contradictions in Joey’s head.

    “Going up Joey?”

    Joey does not respond.

    “Of course you’re going up, guy like you has nowhere to go but up!”

    There is no conversation in the elevator that morning. Weather, stock prices, the Sharks
game, the new Aquaman movie, all these things have no meaning in the elevator with Joey Song.
    Everyone is tense in the quarterly meeting, except Joey. Fiscal projections are awful. The
CEO brings up the possibility of downsizing and the employees gasp and murmur. The CEO
wants everyone to be a team player, a leader, a go-getter, an idealist, a pragmatist, an original
thinker, and stop taking so many coffee breaks. He notices the two vacuums in Joey’s head,
abyssal pits that do not let go of his gaze. He sees the answers, not just to saving his company,
but to everything else in his life as well.
    “Now there’s a man that knows what this company is all about. There’s a man that is
certain! Mr. Song has certainly brought his A-game this morning, let’s follow his example and
really make this day worth it folks.”
    After the meeting the employees pat Joey on the back and say things like “Nice Joey,”
and “Let’s get us a meeting together, shoot some ideas around,” and “Due for a promotion soon I
bet,” and so on. They make sure not to get too close to his face, out of fear that their gaze may
permanently be sucked into the two blackholes in Joey’s head.

Joey pulls up to the school parking lot. Three teachers are trying to calm a crowd of middle
schoolers. They are climbing trees and throwing their science projects and pantsing each other.
Joey lowers his car window and his two chasms of nothingness immediately grab everyone’s
gaze. The children are reminded of their precious youth, these fleeting moments of innocence
and whimsy. They stare at each other, possible lifelong friends and companions, and embrace
one another. They imprint this moment in their memories.

    On the car ride back home, Joey’s two daughters stare at his two glistening orbs of
infinity through the rearview mirror from the back seat. For the first time, they see themselves as
their father sees them. Smart, beautiful, capable, the two most important things in his life. They
are filled with vigor and know that the world is theirs for the taking.

His wife has put the children to sleep. She embraces him as he lays completely still on the bed.
She holds his face in her hands, putting her forehead right to his forehead, lining up her eyes with
Joey’s anti-eyes. At the correct angle, Joey’s two little balls of nothingness turn into two radiant
globes of everything, beaming up the entire bedroom. She sees everything there is to see. Every
single color and shape and pattern. Every single emotion felt by every single human and animal
and plant. She sees a cow birthing a calf. She sees soldiers shooting each other. She sees a man
win a marathon. She sees a teenager make a burger at Wendy’s. She sees a mother give up her
life for her child. She sees the vastness of the oceans and jungles and deserts and mountains.

    “It’s beautiful Joey, so beautiful!”

    Slowly, her eyes are sucked into Joey’s glowing orbs, followed by her head, her long
black hair, her neck, her body and limbs. They are pulled apart into long swirling strands as she
enters the mystical realm where everything is beautiful and nothing hurts.
Monday Nov 5 2018