In a city where nothing works anymore, the traffic lights are monochrome, three blown-out bulbs. There are no need for traffic lights because there are no cars. The concrete has given way to green and the headless lamp posts to vigilant owl eyes. The only faces visible for miles are meters high on billboards, advertising products that no longer exist.
You enter a house. It could be yours, it could be anyone else's. The telephone does not work. There is no one to call. The forks and spoons are bent beyond repair, the kitchen knife blunt as the edge of the counter and missing its handle. The doorknob does not work, its hinges give way with ease. It oscillates back and forth with the slightest breath of wind. Starlings have flown in and out, raiding cereal boxes and instant oats, timing their visitations with the wind's whims. In the living room is a guitar with all its strings snapped, except for one. It is singing a song to its missing strings. There is a boy holding it, wearing a filter that covers the lower extremities of his face. On it is an expression you cannot see, so you focus on the guitar's single string.
He touches another string, and it reforms itself under his fingers. The fixed string resonates with the other, an interval, a pleasing one.
There is a girl trapped in a pay phone booth, trying to make a call. She could exit anytime, the door is nonexistent, broken, as is the phone, but she cannot go through it. She stays there day and night, sustained by a dead line. When the coins ran out long ago, she tentatively slipped out and went far and wide for stray coins on streets long abandoned by footsteps, or the clink of another coin. At the end of every day, she carries the coins in the fold of her dress, her hands smelling of copper, the coins clinking against each other merrily.
In the house, the boy has fixed the guitar and the line. In the booth the girl gets an answer for the first time. You smile.