My father's a painter. When I was a little boy, he was commissioned to paint murals in a bowling alley. He took my brother and me to the empty alley during the several days it took him to finish the job. The empty space enthralled me. I felt like I didn't exist.
There have been several more instances in my life since in which I've been in a space that's supposed to be crowded but isn't, but these times have felt sinister, not like the happy time I spent in the bowling alley with my father and brother. In many ways, I feel like I've been trying to get back to that bowling alley, at least emotionally, since.
Passenger pigeons are perhaps the negative to the bowling alley's positive space (or are the pigeons the positive to the alley's negative?). Having once filled the skies of North American, with their breeding zones in Michigan, the last of them died in 1914. They don't exist.