Dear Dirty America


Apocalypse Soonish (or how I learned to stop hating and sit around for a bit)

December 21
15:14 2012
Greetings, Dearest Dirty Americans!
Prepared for the grim curtain call to come, as are I hope we all might be.  One can only make ready for so much though – isn’t that ever the problem?  Once the world ends, what’s to say if the pipes will keep pumping water or not?  I’ve stockpiled coffee, a few dozen cans of varying brands stacked in the dinette next to my emergency cricket bat and camp kit.  I couldn’t afford an assault rifle after buying all of that coffee, which is just as well since there’s an awful connotation with the things of late.
I’m sitting on the floor in the middle of the house sipping my cuppa, waiting for the fireworks to start.  And that’s just it – the Mayans weren’t very particular about the nature of this bloodbath.  But let’s be reasonable.  I’m scrolling back, recalling the possibilities boiled down for consumption in our filmiest of American mediums.  Not 2012 obviously, that film was purely garbage.  Cloverfield, or any number of Bond scenarios.  A zombocalypse is possible, if only because so many people want it to happen.  Sort of like war in Europe; get enough people’s waves turned on a thing and it’ll be made so.
Not that I’m overly prepared for any of this.  Like I said, I’ve my coffee.  Not sure if the power and water’ll keep up afterwards, though I’ve read someplace that the Hoover Dam would continue to produce power by itself for upwards of a thousand years, until the concrete finally crumbles away.  Now that’s a feat of engineering!  Why can’t we build something like that these days?  Moot point anyway, as the world’s ending.  There’s a perverse pleasure to be had in that phrasing, similar to not getting the job you’ve half applied for that lets you keep on wallowing about in self-pity.
Thinking Trainspottingthere, not an apocalypse piece so much as a venture into wholesome depravity.  If our power keeps on I may watch a bit of it.  If not, I’ve a fat copy of Moby Dick beside me.  I’d often suffixed the title with an oath and it being the last book in the world, but here we are.  Game time.  It’s my only regret, not reading the bloody thing.  And I’ve meant to.  It’s just been a blur of distraction, these few years or so.  I blame Facebook, honestly.  And YouTube.  There are other lesser bodies and sites of unmentionably low moral character, but those are the two biggest sucks on the teat of time.
Makes a guy feel low, once-was what-iffery of the contemplative final hours.  I’d pray, but then there’s no such thing as God.  I know that much, at least.  Which is why I haven’t prepared in any way for an apocalypse of biblical proportions.  Because come now, why base your day around a fantasy that lacks originality?  Horsemen and plagues and fire?  Please, we’ve all been there.  It’s called Darfur, and we’re finally past all that.  That’s another consideration not normally taken in these cinematic figurings, is whether there would be near enough blue helmets to spread around after the world’s end.  Doctors sans borders, myriad ulcered physicians and nurses and volunteers fretting about here and there.  The end of the world seems a bit nervy, put that way.
Give me A Boy and His Dog, which is not to say I’ve a dog quite yet.  I’m sure there’ll be tons of the damned things wandering about and over-breeding, once society melts away.  I’ll have the pick of the litter, as the expression goes.  I know I’ll survive.  That’s the essence of the immutable human spirit:  that despite it all, I will survive this, be it hurricane, volcano, war, plague, death, or holiday shopping spree.  The holidays-  hell, but that’ll be a definite dampener, this apocalypse.  All those gifts and dinners and travel plans, shot all to shit.  One wonders if future waves of survivors might commemorate the day, either usurping Christmas or sucking in the seasonal celebrations into Life Day, or the druidic Winter Solstice or some such.  Even after the demise of life and liberty, one imagines the power of marketing would survive enough not to let it go.
But what sort of post-apocalypt might I be?  I help myself to a fourth cuppa, keeping low behind the countertops so’s to avoid taking a blast of glass to the face.  One cannot be overly careful in these situations, really, a case of prevention-and-cure axiomation.  That’s the other thing Hollywood tends to gloss over, is the character (if not basic motivations) of its survivor folk.  There is a sense of human spiritual camaraderie, yes, but that’s more thrust-upon heroism than planned-for protagony.  We all know today’s the day; all of us can be assumed to be sitting about, wondering what to do once the ball finally drops.  Once society comes to a halt, who is it I want to be?  It depends an awful lot on the nature of the event, but I can see myself being the Mad Max-y lone wanderer, intent to content himself with boyish exploration of this newly unshaped Earth of ours.  It’s cliché and ungodly predictable, and there’s sure to be no lack of us brutes out there.  But apocalypse only comes once in a blue moon, right-right?
That’s another thing I intend to do in post-apocalyptia.  We’re taking English back to pre-cellular days.  I’m talking commas and proper punctuatives, paradoxically enough bringing order to language in the midst of physical disorder.  In the apocalyptic wastelands I’ll have carte blanche to finally distribute rough justice to grammatical offenders, so that’ll be something.  I’ll need a bigger cricket bat, though…  Yes, I can’t quite put my finger on it, but today’s going to be a bit of alright.  And dammit, I feel fine.
To y’all and all yours, the best of all possible afterworlds this apocalyptic season!

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