THE BLACK SPACE BEHIND OUR EYEs
Following the funeral of his best friend (nicknamed Nobody, because nobody is perfect), Art
returns home to find a strange man in a suit and top hat sitting on his front porch. The man carries with him Nobody’s final deeds, consisting of a resignation letter addressed to Art’s employer, a pre-paid flight from New Zealand to Los Angeles, and a contract agreeing to transfer Nobody’s entire life insurance payout to Art on several conditions.
Nobody's last wish is for Art to see the world through the eyes of the dying, the way he
had in his final months. And so, to receive the funds, Art must quit his monotonous job and
commit to the seemingly innocuous task of understanding the concept of death within
a twenty-five-day period while on a road trip from California to the Amazon Rainforest.
Unable to turn down the bounty, Art hits the road, clumsily attempting to answer the
eight-hundred-thousand-dollar question through an array of Latin culture, like-minded
seekers, and ancient traditions. But when the pursuit of death conjures up ghosts from
Art’s past, his own life falls into jeopardy, and Art must decide whether to abandon the
money for the banal safety of his home islands or run the gauntlet to the Amazon, facing
his crushing grief, conquering his greatest fears, and answering life’s most avoided question.
Travel Writing Scholarship, THE BLACK SPACE BEHIND OUR EYES is a reflection on what it means
to be human, shedding light on our greatest fears and the freedom that lies beyond them.