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I creep inside the cavern of my mind and search for signs of life. Some synapse weakly snapping or a flicker of light, some whiteness in the darkness of the space within my head.


I build a house here, a home, a place where I can steer the wheel of the vehicle that takes me onward, endless, restless, listlessly I search for signs of life.


There is life in the sitting room, plant life, green life, life that grows and thrives, light that glows and dives through glass onto the hardwood floor. I adore this life, these ferns, these trees, the flowers and buds and cacti huddled on the sills, I turn my gaze to the window seat where I perch to read a wordless book and search for signs of life.


The view through the panes shows aspens in the yard and the rolling plains beyond, the sky that lovely grey-blue shade I long for when it’s gone. As clouds meander aimlessly I search for signs of life.


I turn away and from my seat I see the empty bench that rests beneath the grand piano keys which long for gentle touch of hands, so I search for signs of life. The booklet spread upon the stand shows blotted notes in black pen ink, each careful stroke placed tenderly by someone else’s hand. Beyond the hall, the double doors stand sealed, concealing past them, I dare to hope, the signs of life I seek.


The creak of heavy, ancient wood seeps into the hall, through the doors the room is dark, curtains drawn and lights unlit, chandeliers cast dull sharp shards of multicolored light, but though I search for signs of life, the ballroom floor is bare.


No footsteps echo back at mine as my heels guide me down the hall. The corridor falls silent as I halt before the storage closet and rest my hand upon the knob. Within hides just the ordinary--vacuum, broom, bag of hard dry food for the dogs I cannot find. I ease the closet closed again and search for signs of life.


The deserted swing on the patio drifts gently in the wind. All the seats in the library remain unclaimed while the bookshelves loom as they never have to consume the very room they’ve made their home. The chair sits alone past the study door, files in the cabinets untouched. The globe, immobile, Europe upright, stands still as I search for signs of life.


No plates to break in the anger room and all of space is dark. I start to think perhaps I built this house without a helping hand and wonder now if I’ve always been the only one to stand beneath its roof.


In the empty mansion in my mind I search for signs of life, overturning tables, chairs, destroying chandeliers, tearing holes in tapestries and digging my nails into walls.


My house is vacant, my mind is bare. There are no signs of life. 

©Kaylee Schuler

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