an endless expanse of dying television screens stretches out before me, the light from the electron beams bathing the darkness in a bluish haze. i watch scenes of hue-shifted people going about their daily lives. there, a middle-aged man in his office taking a telephone call. there, a housewife preparing a simple dinner. there, a teacher leading a class of kindergarteners in the alphabet. there, two lovers having a whispered conversation. the collective audio of thousands of channels blends together into a mechanical cacophony of sound, one that envelops me whole like a womb of noise.

the characters are familiar. i recognize their faces, their postures, their emotions. i reach my hands out to touch them, raise my voice to call to them, move my legs to run towards them, all even though i know that it's for naught. the figures i see are just phantoms on glass, forever out of reach.

so i repeat to myself, set apart from that world of light, trapped in the dark shadows of flesh and blood, the only words that i remember how to say:

"i'm so sorry."