The Big Day[]

  • Season: 1
  • Episode: 1

It all started about three years ago. I ran a boutique ad agency in Seattle - mostly local clients. But I this crazy idea for an international IBM campaign - a way to spread the word of technology.

Unfortunately, it meant flying across the country for the pitch. I wasn't a good traveler. Hated saying goodbye, hated putting my life in other people's hands.

"Come home soon, Russ."

But I knew if I scored this account, my life would change...

"Love you, daddy."

Private school for Kizzy.. Janelle could stop working. My life changed alright, but not how I imagined.

I knew the minute I woke up something was wrong. All I figured - maybe'd been a blackout. Didn't give it much thought, though. I was already late. I wasn't about to blow the biggest day of my life. Seems to me we never really appreciate something until it's gone.

Elevators are a perfect example. A technology we take for granted. Run down 41 flights of stairs holding a laptop, and you get a new appreciation for elevators.

But.. elevators weren't the only thing missing that first morning. It made no sense. A big 4-star hotel, and not a soul in sight. I thought I was dreaming. That was the only rational explanation.

I'll never forget walking out on the 5th Avenue - middle of Manhattan, and all I could hear were - birds.

"Hello. Hello? HELLO?!"

The whole world had shut down overnight, like someone had just.. flipped a switch somewhere. I wondered around looking for signs of human life. My brain desperately trying to process it all.

Then.. it started to rain. I lived in Seattle. I was used to rain, but this was like nothing I've never seen before. This was unnatural. This was biblical. I thought I was the last man on Earth.

Russell Shoemaker, The Big Day

See also[]