The morning of September 11th, 2001, in McGinty's. Gary and Marissa are
discussing why The Paper wasn't delivered that tragic day:
"But why didn't The Paper come anyway?" Gary shouted angrily, "I could've
"Because you wouldn't have been able to, Gary," Marissa softly replied, "And
I'm sure you would've felt responsible for the tragedy happening. I know you,
and apparently whoever or whatever sends you The Paper does, too. They wanted
to spare you the anguish of not being able to stop it in time. We don't know
what power is involved, be it God or some other force. Maybe the tragedy was
out of their hands, too."
"I-I guess you could be right, Marissa," Gary said while placing his arm
around her, "Maybe nobody could've stopped this, maybe...just maybe, there's a
greater reason we don't understand why this had to happen."
She held his hand firmly, "Whatever the reason, Gary, it had better be a
*damned* good one."
"Yeah....it had better be."
The morning of September 12th, 2001 in Gary's loft above McGinty's. The time
is six thirty AM:
Gary briefly stirred in his bed, put the pillow over his head and pulled the
covers over himself in an effort to ignore the sound coming from his door.
"Go away! I don't want it anymore!"
"I said, GO AWAY! What use is that damned paper of yours if I can't stop
things like yesterday from happening? I quit! I don't want it! Go peddle it to
someone else!" He punched the pillow and turned over on his side, still not
leaving his bed.
Gary scowled and jumped out of the bed. Quickly running to the door, he
opened it and saw the cat sitting on The Paper.
"What part of 'Go away! I don't want it anymore!' don't you understand?" He
angrily asked the cat, "You didn't even give me the chance to try and stop
yesterday, did you? I could've at least tried!"
The cat stood silently on The Paper and looked up at him.
"Nothing else to say, furball? Has a person got your tongue?" Gary slammed
the door and went back to his bed, leaving the cat and The Paper outside of the
It was eight AM when Marissa tapped her cane up the wooden stairs to the
loft. She was very worried about Gary and how he had reacted to not being able to
stop the attacks on The World Trade Center and Pentagon the day before. He had
become more and more angry and despondent as the day progressed, and kept
making comments to her about not wanting The Paper anymore. The last time she
could recall Gary acting like that was when he couldn't save Jeremiah Mason from
dying in an apartment fire back in March of 1999. She remembered how difficult
it was for him to get through that rough period, especially after having read
his own obituary in The Paper. Marissa had always believed that something out
of the ordinary and special had happened to Gary in the basement of that
collapsed carpet store, but whatever it was that occurred, he had never spoken of
it and had kept it to himself.
But yesterday was different. Although she had tried explaining to him that he
probably wouldn't have been able to prevent the hijackings and subsequent
tragedies from occurring, she understood that he still felt responsible, even
though The Paper hadn't come. She worried that Gary was now suffering from the
anguish that she had tried to prevent with her explanation of why The Paper
hadn't come to him and also feared that he was serious about not wanting The Paper
Marissa's worries and fears suddenly grew larger when her cane got caught on
The Paper upon getting to the loft's door. She bent down to pick it up and
"Gary? Are you there? It's me! I just wanted to know how you're doing, okay?"
There was no answer from him and Marissa knocked again.
"Gary? Just tell me that you're alright and I'll leave you alone. I really
need to know that you're okay!"
She heard footsteps slowly coming towards her and then the door opening.
"Gary? Is that you? Are you okay?"
"I'm fine, Marissa," Gary answered in a raspy low monotone, "I just need to
be by myself for a while, that's all."
Marissa was alarmed by the tone of his voice, but knew from past experience
not to push or force him to open up to her. "I understand, Gary. I'll be
downstairs if you need me for anything or if you feel like you want to talk." She
began turning around to leave when she suddenly stopped, turned back in his
direction and held out The Paper in her hand, "I'm sure that you don't feel up to
reading this right now, but please do me a favor and take it inside with you."
She paused for a moment while gently waving The Paper towards him, "You don't
have to look at it or anything, but I would feel better knowing that it's in
the loft with you."
Gary grabbed The Paper out of her hand and tossed it on to his sofa, "You're
right, Marissa, I don't feel like reading it right now, or maybe ever again,
but I'll do you the favor of taking it inside with me." He placed his hand on
her shoulder, "And if I feel like talking to you later on, I'll come down. I
just need some time alone to do some thinking, okay?"
"I understand, Gary."
"I hope you do, Marissa, because I sure as hell don't." With that, Gary shut
Marissa turned around and started to quietly make her way back down to the
bar. She was even more worried about him now than she had been before and began
to pray silently as she slowly walked down the stairs towards the office.
After Marissa had left, Gary stared at The Paper, now strewn all over his
sofa. The more he looked at it, the angrier he became. Scowling, he went over to
one of his windows, opened it and walked back to the sofa to get The Paper.
Quickly grabbing it, he was about to toss it out of the window until remembering
his promise to Marissa to keep The Paper in the loft. Now upset and disgusted
with himself, Gary looked down at the crinkled pages in his tightly clenched
"It's a good thing for you I promised Marissa I'd keep you in the loft or
otherwise you'd be all over Illinois Street by now!" Tossing it back on the sofa,
he shook his head, "But I never said anything to her about reading you, so I
won't! Not today! Not ever again!"
Still shaking his head and scowling, Gary went into the bathroom to take a
After Marissa got to the office, she sat down in her desk chair and sighed
loudly. She understood Gary's feelings of frustration and anger, but had to
think of a way to get him to snap out of it. She still believed that the tragedies
of yesterday would have happened regardless of whether or not he got The
Paper and now, more than ever, the people of Chicago needed Gary to continue
making saves. She had to somehow convince Gary that he *had* to continue getting
The Paper, because that's what he does best, making saves and helping people.
That's why he was chosen by Lucius Snow to be his successor.
'I know that he feels like yesterday was his fault, but it wasn't,' she
thought, 'And he'll continue to feel like that until he's convinced otherwise,' she
shook her head, 'But how? And why did the powers that send him The Paper let
this happen in the first place? Not only the attacks, but also Gary not
getting his paper yesterday! Didn't they realize that he would feel this way?'
Marissa wiped the small tears that had formed under her sightless eyes and
continued trying to think of something to help Gary until some footsteps
entering the office and a somewhat familiar voice interrupted her train of thought.
It was a voice that she hadn't heard in a long time.
The stranger lightly chuckled and asked, "Do you remember me?"
"Your voice is familiar, but to tell the truth, I can't seem to remember
"I realize that it's been almost three years since we last spoke," the
stranger replied, "And I'm sure that you'll remember me in a moment, but the reason
I came here was to see Mr. Hobson in order to give him something that might be
of some importance to him."
"I don't think that Gary is in the mood to see anyone today..wait! I do
remember your voice! You're from The Blackstone Hotel! You're Boswell, the doorman!"
"That's correct, Ms Clark. It's me, Boswell."
Marissa smiled, "I do apologize for not remembering who you were, but I'm
afraid my mind is on other things."
"I understand, Ms. Clark, and I'm sure there are quite a few other people who
share your thoughts today."
"You mentioned that you had something that might be of importance to give to
Gary. Do you mind telling me what it is?"
"It's an old journal, or diary if that's a better term. It belonged to the
gentleman that occupied Mr. Hobson's old room at The Blackstone before he moved
into it. His name was.."
Marissa quickly interrupted him, "Lucius Snow!"
"That's correct, Ms. Clark, his name was Lucius Snow." replied Boswell, "Did
you know him?"
"No, Boswell, I didn't know him per se," answered Marissa, "But I do know of
him. I believed that he worked as a typesetter for the Sun-Times."
"That, he did, Ms. Clark. And Mr. Hobson's cat used to be Mr. Snow's cat. I
believe that the cat adopted Mr. Hobson after Mr. Snow passed on."
Marissa smiled nervously, "Uh, I suppose that could be said, Boswell," She
took a deep breath and continued, "But, getting back to Snow's journal, I have
to ask, why do you think it could be important to Gary? Did you read it?"
Boswell smiled, "No, Ms. Clark, I didn't read it. I didn't believe that it's
contents were something that I should see, nor did I have the desire to.
However, I am aware that Mr. Hobson had shown more than just a little interest in
researching Mr. Snow's past when he lived at The Blackstone, so I thought this
journal might be of some use to Mr. Hobson and perhaps give him some answers
that he might need."
"That was quite thoughtful of you, Boswell," Marissa tactfully replied, "And
if you leave the journal with me, I'll make sure that Gary gets it."
"No, Ms. Clark. I would prefer handing it to him myself, if you don't mind."
She sighed, "I'm afraid that Gary is not in the mood to see anyone today,
Boswell. Yesterday's attacks really affected him deeply and he just wants to be
"Believe me, Ms. Clark, I do understand how he feels, but if you could just
inform Mr. Hobson on your intercom that I'm here to give him something, I'm
quite sure that he would let me come up and see him."
Realizing that Boswell wasn't going to leave the journal with anyone but
Gary, Marissa sighed and then pressed the intercom button on the phone.
"Gary? There's someone here to see you. Who? It's Boswell from The Blackstone
and he has something to give to you. Yes, I told him that you didn't feel
like seeing anyone today, but he's quite insistent that he gives you something."
While Gary thought over whether or not to see Boswell, Marissa decided she
that wouldn't tell him anything about Snow's journal in case it upset him or
made him think about The Paper.
"Gary? Uh, no, I'm not sure what it is, but Boswell said it might be of some
importance to you. No, he won't leave it with me, Boswell said that he needed
to hand it to you personally."
Marissa didn't have to wait long for Gary's reply, "Tell him to come on up to
the loft? Okay, Gary, I will." She turned towards Boswell's direction, "Gary
said for you to go on up to the loft. The stairs are through the door next to
Boswell smiled, "I remember the way, Ms. Clark. I've been there before." He
began walking towards the doorway to the stairwell, but suddenly stopped and
faced Marissa. "Thank you, Ms. Clark. I'm sure that what I have to give Mr.
Hobson will not only give him some answers, but might ease some pain." He then
went through the door and walked up the stairs.
Marissa tilted her head to one side and had a look of puzzlement on her face.
'I know whenever anything that has to do with Lucius Snow ends up with Gary,
it's usually because The Paper needs it to,' she thought, 'And I'm sure this
journal is no exception. Maybe it will give Gary the answers that he needs to
get on with his life.' She paused to reflect for a moment, 'Or maybe not.'
Boswell got to the loft's front door and knocked. "Mr. Hobson? It's Boswell."
Gary opened the door, "Boswell! I haven't seen you since..since.."
"Since the day you moved into here, Mr. Hobson." Boswell said, finishing
Gary managed a smile, "That's right! I remember! You brought me a book that
you said survived the fire in my room." Gary then led him inside the loft and
to a chair, "So, Boswell, what brings you here today?"
Boswell sat down and looked around the loft. "It looks much nicer than the
last time I was here, Mr. Hobson. Who did your decorating?"
"Howzat? My decorating? I just threw some stuff together. It's not much, but
it's home." Gary then sat down on the sofa and quickly asked, "So, what's this
thing of importance that you need to give to me?"
Boswell smiled, "I was going through some things in our basement storage
area, when I came across something that I thought might be of interest to you. It
belonged to one of our former guests."
"Howzat? A former guest? What's that got to do with me?"
"It's a journal, Mr. Hobson. A journal written some sixty years ago."
"A sixty year old journal? Why would it interest me? Who wrote it?"
Boswell chuckled, "It was written by an old friend of yours."
Gary was getting impatient, "An old friend? Who?"
Gary became angry, "What makes you think that I'd want anything of Snow's?
He's old news as far as I'm concerned!" Gary suddenly realized that he was being
rude to his guest and lowered his voice, "I'm sorry for exploding like that,
Boswell, but I'm afraid you made a wasted trip. I don't want Snow's journal or
anything else to do with him. Like I said before, he's nothing but old news
Boswell smiled, "Sometimes we can learn things from old news." He got up and
placed the journal on Gary's coffee table, "I'll leave it with you anyway, Mr.
Hobson. I can understand you not wanting to take a look at it right now, but
perhaps in the future, you might have a change of heart."
Gary sighed, "I doubt it, Boswell, but thank you for stopping by, even if
it's just to say hello. I really have to apologize for my behavior earlier. It's
just that, well, um, about yesterday..I feel so helpless..and angry."
Boswell put his hand on Gary's shoulder, "There are quite a few people that
feel as you do right now, Mr. Hobson." He smiled at him, "And have also felt
that way in the past. Perhaps if you look in the journal, you might understand
Boswell began walking to the door, but suddenly stopped and turned towards
Gary, "Remember, Mr. Hobson ..no man is an island unto himself. We all go
through times of anger, doubt and frustration. It's part of living life." He smiled,
"Living *your* life." Boswell turned back around and left the loft.
Gary looked down at the journal that was laying on his coffee table and
picked it up.
'I suppose it won't hurt to read what Snow wrote,' he thought, 'Maybe I can
find out when he started getting The Paper and what he thought about it at
Gary glanced down and saw the cat looking up at him, "Where'd you come from,
furball? Ya probably snuck in when Boswell was leaving." Gary sat back down on
the sofa and began to leaf through the old binder. "The first entry is from
1940. Snow mentions something about how the first six months have gone well."
"Yeah, I suppose you knew that, didn't ya?"
The cat joined Gary on the sofa as he continued to read it. This went on for
some time until he was interrupted by a knock on his door.
"Gary? It's me! I just wanted to check on you and see if maybe what Boswell
brought you was of any importance!"
Gary put down the journal, went to door and opened it. "Hi, Marissa. Why
don't you come in for a little while?" Gary led her over to the sofa. "It's
interesting what Boswell brought me. It's an old journal from Lucius Snow!"
Marissa sat down, furled up her cane and then made a nervous smile, "I know.
Boswell told me what it was, but I didn't think I should tell you on the
intercom. I hope you're not upset with me for not letting you know."
Gary smiled, "No, I'm not."
He picked the journal back up, "It's sorta interesting to read. Apparently,
Snow started getting The Paper around 1940. He was in his early twenties and
had just started working as a typesetter for The Chicago Daily News. He didn't
know how or why it came to him."
Marissa grinned, "That sounds like you a few years ago, doesn't it?"
"Yeah, it does."
"So," she asked, "Have you found out anything important?"
"No, not really. Snow's entries were sporadic at best. The last one I read
was from November 1941. The next one is.." Gary stopped talking and stared in
disbelief at the next entry.
"What is it, Gary? What have you found? What did Snow write?"
"I don't believe this!"
"Gary! Are you going to tell me or not?"
"The entry..it's dated December 8th, 1941! You're never gonna believe this!
It's about the attack on Peal Harbor!"
Marissa was becoming impatient, "What? What did he write about it?"
Gary put the journal down for a moment, took a deep breath and then picked it
back up, "On the day of the attack, you know, the day before.."
"His..his paper didn't come."
Marissa gasped, "Oh, God."
"Did Snow say what he did, Gary?" Marissa was still astonished by what Gary
had just said to her, "What I mean, is, uh, how did he react? His paper didn't
show up and the U.S. was attacked at Pearl Harbor! He must have felt.he must
Her voice trailed off and Gary completed her sentence, "Like I do right now.
That's what you were trying to say, wasn't it, Marissa? That Snow probably
felt as helpless and frustrated as I do now, right?"
"I, uh, well.." She suddenly regained her composure, "Yes, Gary. That *is*
what I was trying to say. That he probably felt exactly as you do now."
Gary sighed and shook his head, "I dunno, Marissa. I haven't read past the
part where he wrote about The Paper not coming."
She stood up and unfurled her cane, "Maybe I'd better leave you alone so you
can read how Snow handled it. It certainly appears that this journal showing
up today was not a coincidence and, as Boswell said to me, maybe you'll find
some answers that you need."
"Did Boswell mention to you whether he read it?"
"He told me that not only didn't he read it, but that he had no desire to. He
said that it's contents were something that he didn't need to know."
Gary shook his head again, "It's just, well, I dunno. Sometimes it seems like
Boswell knows something about The Paper. Or maybe.." He paused and thought
for a moment, "Nah. I was gonna say maybe he's connected with it somehow, but
that's impossible, he's just a doorman."
Marissa shook her head, "And your cat is only a stray that just happens to
show up with tomorrow's newspaper."
She began to tap her cane towards the door to leave, but Gary quickly went
over to her, "Uh, Marissa? Um, would you mind staying with me as I read this?
Your insight and advice on most things dealing with The Paper are usually pretty
good, and I could sure use them right now."
Marissa turned towards Gary's direction and smiled, "Of course I'll stay with
you. Whatever answers you might find in that journal, it couldn't hurt to
have a friend to talk them over with, don't you think?" She made her way back
over to the sofa and sat down.
Gary sat down next to her and began reading the entries in the journal.
"This is what Snow wrote about that day," Gary ran his finger under the words
as he read them out loud, 'I don't understand why, of all days, that paper
didn't show up. That cat wasn't here yesterday either. Both came today, but I
didn't feel up to doing anything with it.' He stopped for a moment, "I know how
he felt then, Marissa, and I feel the same way now."
"I know you do, Gary, but how did he get over those feelings and continue on
with The Paper?"
Gary continued reading from the journal, 'I got a call from Mabel at The
Daily News today. Her son was on the Arizona and is missing, but presumed dead. If
I had only received that paper, maybe I could have warned the navy and they
would have been ready for the attack. Maybe Mabel's son didn't have to die.
Maybe all of those brave boys didn't have to die.'
Gary stopped reading, "Good Lord, he actually knew someone who lost their kid
Marissa reached out and searched for Gary's hand. After finding it, she
clasped it tightly, "As bad as you feel about what happened yesterday, at least it
didn't affect you or someone you know directly. Imagine how Snow must have
felt, a co-worker, and perhaps a friend, lost her son in the attack. Snow must
have felt as though it was his fault somehow." She slowly shook her head,
"Sometimes I wonder how you're able to do saves and not get involved in the lives of
the people that you help. How can you detach yourself from them?"
Gary forced a small smile, "Sometimes I don't. Sometimes I can't help but get
involved with some of the people that I save. Whether that's a good thing or
not, it still happens." He squeezed her hand, "I guess it's a part of getting
She smiled, "I know. I just wanted to hear you say it, that's all."
Gary nodded his head, "Yeah, I kinda figured that." He began reading the
journal again, 'I didn't feel like reading that paper at all. What good is it, if
I can't stop things like surprise attacks from happening? But all that changed
when that darn cat started meowing to beat the band. It seemed to be
insistent that I pick up that paper and look at something. When I did, I noticed there
was a story about Mabel and how she had committed suicide because of being
despondent over her only son's death. I suddenly realized that maybe I can't
always stop big things from happening or that maybe I'm not supposed to. Maybe
I'm supposed to save one life at a time.'
Gary paused and smiled, "I guess that's what I do, too. Save one life at a
Marissa put her hand on his shoulder, "And each life you save, in turn,
touches others. And those others touch even more."
"Snow realized something like that too, Marissa. Let me read to you what he
wrote later on in the entry." He read the journal to her, 'I just got back from
stopping Mabel from killing herself. We talked for hours about her son
Harold. He was a good boy, just nineteen years old. He wanted to make a career out
of the navy. She was crying when the telegram came. We both knew what it was
going to say, but we were wrong. Harold was alive! He had survived the attack
and was in a Honolulu hospital. His dogtags had been lost in the fighting and no
one knew his name because he was unconscious upon arriving at the hospital.
He woke up and told them who he was. The Red Cross notified the war department,
who in turn, informed Mabel. If she had killed herself, she would have never
known that her son was alive. I might not be able to save the world, but at
least I can save one person, one life at a time. I think that's what getting
this paper is all about. After all.'
Gary suddenly stopped reading.
"Gary? Is something wrong?"
"It's what Snow wrote next..it's almost the same thing that Boswell said to
"What did Snow write..and Boswell say?"
"No man is an island."
Marissa squeezed his hand again, "That's very true, Gary. You can shut out
all of the sadness in the world by pretending it's not there or ignoring it, but
if you don't attempt to change it, even a small part, it'll still be there
"I know." He picked up The Paper from his coffee table and began to leaf
through it, "I have to go, Marissa. There's a small boy who gets hit by a car on
Sheridan. He wanders into the street and gets run over. The driver didn't see
Marissa smiled, "One life at a time, eh, partner?"
"Snow was right. I may not be able to stop the big things, but I can still
make a difference by saving one person at a time. I'm sure that's what The Paper
is all about. Don't get me wrong, I'm still angry about yesterday's attacks
on The World Trade Center and Pentagon, but I think The Paper didn't come bec
ause what was gonna happen was already out of my hands. Snow realized that about
Pearl Harbor, too."
Marissa nodded her head, "I'm sure he was also angry about it, Gary, but like
you, he continued on with The Paper." She paused for a moment and then
continued, "When you think about it, even if you had only saved one person since The
Paper started coming to you, you still would have made a difference."
"But I've saved more than one person, Marissa. I've saved many people."
"And you've made quite a difference, too, Gary. The Paper comes to you for a
reason. Yesterday, it *didn't* come to you for another reason. Whatever the
reasons for both are, they're not yours to question. When you get back from
making your save, let's continue reading Snow's journal. We may find out some more
Gary grinned, "Ya never know." He began to leave, but stopped and turned
towards Marissa, "They're both right, ya know. Both Snow and Boswell."
Gary made a small grin, "No man is an island."
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