Today was the end of the world, just not for you nor I. Our turn will come, but for some 150000 people the world ended today. A few of them got a mention and some, no doubt, deserved the hanging they got. Most, however, slipped the bounds of earth without disturbing the score keepers – the pettiness of their sins exceeded only by the inanity of their virtue. The apocalypse is always personal.
Whatever you may believe about where they have gone does not matter, their sentience has departed this time-place. They are done and dusted.
Of course their consequences and memory will live on. This may, or may not, be a good thing. For the most part it will be a mix – humanity scattered in uneven lumps across the corporeal sphere, here excellence and there excrescence. The biggest lumps will be the stuff of the stories that survive them. Stories for the living to tell to their children.
Our minds are made up of stories. We see the fictitious cause behind each effect. We conjure meaning from the gossamer stretched between this and that, then and now. We contrive the threads tying us to the past – be it five minutes or five millennia ago. In the survival of the fittest, it was our ancestors who saw patterns in everything that lived long enough to procreate. It was the rapey kings who told the best stories about their potency who procreated the most. It was always the stories that won.
Hold on to those stories, friend. They are our humanity.
I am not asking you to believe the little lies of power and lust our leaders sell us today, those lead to bad places. I plead instead for the big lies, the important lies. Lies like truth, justice, love and faith. Believe those lies with all your heart and mind, without them we are less than beasts. The thing that believes nothing; clings to nothing; hopes for nothing; that thing is worse than any thing, be his aspect ever so fair.
The subconscious mind turns and churns, throwing up random connections to the reality now observed. Here some red, there a beggar. Music from a distant speaker echoing a yesterday, forever gone. Harsh sunlight on dead grass in the park saying… something. My children fly across it, oblivious. Winter will come. Winter will go.
I like my subconscious, it keeps me humble. It learns and burns. It burps as I lean for the lubricant; anal-izes my onanism; mocks my enthusiastic ejaculations of honesty; wakes me at four in the morning to let me know that I am awake. It teaches me that honest self-love hurts.
This little white pill in my hand is all that stands between me and depression. Those that know the dense fog where stories go to die, know. I have no words for it. I no longer know if it is my dependence on the pill or my natural disposition that would drive me again into the grey pit. All I know that is that I swallow this bifurcated compound to keep the ultimate reality from swallowing me. Having been there before, I can live with the pharmaceutical deception. My family cannot live without it.
There are other little lies I swallow every day. Slow magnesium, vitamin B, meditation, misinterpreted research. Little lies that will possibly counteract my habits and genetics – maybe hold off my death an extra year or two. Long enough for me to see the last of my children reach their majority. Long enough for me to say to my responsibilities: “It is done.” Long enough to say something, anything, of significance to the world.
I am due a prostate exam.
We live at a great time in our solar system’s history. It is about 4.5 bullion years since earth’s creation and another 4 billion years or so until our sun will become a red giant, it’s circumference extending to the earth’s orbit, scourging this Goldilocks anomaly with fire. Any sentient life will then have been erased from the local environs. Some of our descendants may have escaped to other worlds, but speciation means they would not be like us at all. A better bet would be that no-one escapes this planet alive. Anyway, a thousand years is the upper limit for a civilization. This billion years stuff is nonsense.
So that is the material I have to work with for my jokety-jokes. I may have to add a bit more sex.