Views from the Apocalypse
Imagine if they threw an apocalypse and everyone came, enough to fill the Rose Bowl for a televised event of genocidal proportions. The end of the world, televised live for you unlucky ones who couldn’t get tickets. Everyone knows why they’re here, everyone’s damn glad to be here, competing for the cameras, wanting you viewers at home to know how lucky they are. They are there. Everyone sees the nuclear bomb proudly displayed centerfield, ticking down the moments to the greatest ratings blast in entertainment history while everyone waves to the cameras like they’re at the World Series, damn glad to be here, just because they’re on tv?
meanwhile, onstage at ground zero, their lifetimes tick away while cameras roll on grinning faces, damn glad to be here for this spectacle to end all spectacles. The counter reaches zero and the bomb detonates and the ground zero flash turns the happy waving faces into fire-grinning skulls in the split second before vaporization, before even the tv sets of the unlucky ones who couldn’t get tickets are vaporized
can you live in a post-apocalyptic world
even if the actual apocalypse was not as bad as you thought, your home is gone, your life is gone and all things are profoundly changed. Instead of worrying about what you will do and where you will live, you are downright giddy as you walk what was spared, reveling in your survival, excited about witnessing history and participating in this brave new world. Despite the destruction, all around you feels clean and pristine, shiny with color and sparkle in the bright light of the morning after
but you are not as alone as you thought, already tribal lines are being drawn, new cults are taking root, old societies are rebuilding, borderlines are being carved, everyone is trying to put a party face on their deeply shattered composure and go back to normal right now. Stake your homestead, choose your desired factions and hope it can be contained, because the shattering is not finished and you will not live long enough to see it done
dream up a storm blowing fierce beyond words, a storm no movie could imagine and no dream could articulate. Take refuge in something hermetically sealed, with people unconnected to you, huddle up together and wait for the damage to be done. And oh, the damage..... your human peabrain cannot take in the level of devastation blowing by the windows of your sealed refuge and when the blowing is done, the upheaval is downright primeval..... pressing your face against the window, you feel like Dorothy Gale blown back to the Jurassic age but that is no Land of Oz out there, what’s out there should not exist in any time
this is too much, wherever you are, you are trapped in this building with this random group of strangers. Time to start asking yourself if any of this is real before things start turning into Lord of the Flies and everyone’s mind is lost
stop when your apocalypse ceases to be an art form and starts to look more like bad television cooked up by too many fantasies fulfilling the lack of excitement in your life or maybe it’s just time to excise your addiction to newspapers and CNN but who knows, you’re the last one to expect things to respond to your command
in the meantime, you need to wake up, because that bomb’s gonna blow.....
Copyright Kimberly White @ Purple Couchworks
published in North Coast Literary Review