When everyone found out that the apocalypse was going to be on March 10th, people got pretty depressed.
We were all just going to be gone and there was no real reason. The announcement just came from a booming voice in the sky. I’m pretty sure everyone remembers where they were when they heard it. They probably remember it word for word. I do.
“May I have your attention please?
On March 10th, 2013, the thing that you call the world is going to be over.
Please don’t be overly alarmed.
There won’t be any explosions or asteroids or hurricanes. It will just all be over. You won’t even feel anything.
Also, there is nothing after this. This is all there is. So, please don’t get your expectations up. I’d feel bad leading you on.
I’m sure you weren’t expecting this and for that I’m sorry, but I’ve been thinking about this for quite some time and I’m afraid my decision is final.
So if there’s anything you want to do between now and when there is no such thing as now anymore, I guess now would be the time to do it.
Goodbye for now.”
And then the voice was gone. People pleaded and shouted at the sky for a few hours. Nothing changed. Political figures told everyone not to worry. Conspiracy theorists explained that the illuminati was behind this. But we all knew the truth. Everything was going to become nothing and there was nothing we could do about it.
People expected riots and looting like in all the movies. Police were out in force for a day or two and then they realized that everyone was just sitting at home.
The voice was so matter of fact and had clearly and calmly made this decision and we were all left, totally blindsided, just to sit and process it.
No one rioted and no one looted because no one knew what to want anymore.
Every one of us seemed to just sit in stunned silence. We looked into each other’s eyes a lot, basically searching desperately for calm and answers that didn’t exist.
Mindy sat beside me and asked me find a way to make sure our children, Harmon and Helen, had lives. Harmon and Helen played on the floor in front of the couch and didn’t really understand.
I had to explain to Mindy that I couldn’t make sure our kids had lives because the definition of “life” had been changed.
Life was now just a matter of days, regardless of what you were doing. Finding meaning when there is no knowable or tangible end product is quite difficult, as it turns out.
There’s no need to finish that garage you’ve been redoing or the screenplay you always wanted to write or to even find the ones you love to tell them how you feel. That knowledge too will be gone soon.
But Mindy wanted me to do something so I left the house and I walked and I walked until I was tired, but then I kept walking and eventually I found a staircase and I climbed it. I climbed and I climbed and my thighs hurt but I climbed and I climbed because Mindy wanted me to do something. I had forgotten how to want and I always knew Mindy was special and I was right. She never forgot how to want and so I climbed and I climbed and then I reached the top.
When I got to the top I stared into the nothing and I told the nothing that I would not accept the terms that had been set forth. I told the nothing that Harmon and Helen would go on and that Mindy would always want and that I would climb if I needed to and I would walk if I needed to, but I would not go away and I would not stop and I would not allow it.
Not surprisingly, the nothing did not respond because the nothing was not a rational thing and could not be reasoned with. And I stood there and I spoke and I made it listen but it did not understand because it too did not know how to want and it did not understand why it was important.
I stood alone at the top of these stairs for a very long time and I made my case and I was met only with silence and then I walked down the stairs and my calves were burning and then I walked home and I looked into Mindy’s eyes and told her what I had done. Harmon and Helen continued to play on the floor and I assured Mindy that they would do so forever, and I was telling the truth. They would be there, with each other, and with Mindy and with me and we would look into each other’s eyes forever and we would want each other forever in the most literal sense of the word. Forever.
It is now March 9th and nothing has changed. The world is a different place, which is strange, because nothing has changed other than our perceptions of the meaning of it.
Our expectations and hopes had kept us alive for so long and now we were all just very still.
We ruined our own last days as a people. But I did not because I wanted every moment of it and I never lost sight of Mindy and Harmon and Helen and if everything is over tomorrow than I won’t even know but if everything is not over tomorrow I will never leave this room and I will never stop staring into Mindy’s eyes.
I will do this forever.