Liam Czarenski knew the world would end. It is not that he was a superstitious man, just a hopeful one. He had made the necessary preparations for the end of the world. This did not mean storing up freeze-dried food and ammunition in a cellar. There would be no post-apocalyptic situation that called for such items, a great calamity that would purge this earth of all those who dwell upon it. The necessary preparations were quite simple. He had began drinking around noon, and with much effort had become too drunk to walk by four. His last meal was a sloppily made veal dish, that would’ve, in all honesty, tasted much better if he had cooked it before he started to drink. Better luck next time, he thought laughing aloud to himself. By eight o’clock the wind had began to howl, to Liam this was a good sign, it meant the calamity was on schedule. When the time came he was considerably less drunk, but still drunk nonetheless. With five minutes left he found himself quite excited, this made him depressed. What had the world done to him that he would wish to see it end? Well in short: nothing. To him the world was like that kid in class no one ever wanted to hang out with, sure there was nothing wrong with him but you just couldn’t ever stand being around him for more than a few minutes at a time. When the time came Liam laid in the snow, smoking a cigarette, and listening to an audiobook. He had put in a lot of thought when it came to picking which one, he chose Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut, not his favorite Vonnegut book, but he felt like it had meaning on a night like tonight. When the clock hit midnight Liam counted along with the church’s bell tower, and the calamity came as scheduled. Before he could finish his count humanity was swallowed into nothingness, he didn’t even have the time to recognize it.
He was going through a hard time in his life, and I was trying to be there for him, but I was not sure how much longer my liver could take it. As his life melted around him I couldn’t help but take inventory of my own life. I discovered that I had it very well in general, not just in comparison. It almost made me feel guilty. The human experience is a series of emotional scars that we weave into an identity. My mistakes and failures made me who I am, and in the end this personal tragedy was part of what made him who he was, another part of his identity.
She didn’t watch Sodom burn because she was afraid of turning to a pillar of salt, but that day she watched her failures paraded in front of her and did it stoically and proud. She would be alone now, truly alone just her and her empty Pantheon of gods. I would’ve rather turned to salt.
One day in the spring of nineteen hundred and ninety I was born, I was scrubbed clean until my newborn skin shined pink. In a parking lot, downtown, nearly twenty-two years later, I was reborn amidst frost and vomit. I had heard stories of other people’s rebirth, I had read about it and had seen films about it but they failed to prepare me for mine own.
Israel had told me the details of his journey. How images had turned holographic in front of him, how the large department store he was in had turned into a maze. He told me he had been stuck in rush hour traffic when it hit him, to this day he does not know how he made it out of that scenario alive. His journey was nothing like mine and my journey was nothing like his. We all go on separate journeys, they all have similarities in the same way that our lives have similarities, but no one can prepare you for your own, not even yourself.
It was a saturday, a normal saturday. I bought half an ounce of cannabis, and with the aid of Tetrahydrocannabinol, I ate a large breakfast before going into work. I was stoned but stoned was how I lived. I watched the day pass by me as I worked a job that granted me no personal satisfaction and little financial gain. The universe didn’t bother me there. Whatever gods may be, were contented with leaving me be in my meaningless job and I was contented with leaving them be in whatever Olympian kingdom they rule from.