Thursday, June 5, 2014

6/5/14

Introducing The End
By Russ Bickerstaff


I guess I could’ve seen it coming, but I didn’t know why. The credits were rolling when I looked out the window. Kind of makes sense that the world was over. Everything had just been resolved. Everything. The newspapers came up blank. Even the ultimate resolution of everything had quickly become yesterday’s news.

All of the 24 hour news networks had long since ceased discussing and arguing about everything. There wasn’t anything left to argue about. Normal network news had been replaced with old reality TV shows. There really WAS nothing left for it. Everything was more or less over, which actually makes a hell of a lot of sense. Somewhere along the line, everyone had been so polarized to extremes as to become completely in agreement with each other. Move far enough in any direction and you’ll end up right back where you started. Kind of weird that we all sort of ended up doing that more or less at the same time.

Not everyone would agree with this assessment, but no one really has much of any incentive to disagree with anyone else anymore. Conflict has gone out of fashion in a way that feels very, very permanent. There was a kind of a restful relaxation in that. It had been a long time since I stopped worrying about the eventual restlessness that might have followed that. It never really came.

There was nothing left to do. Personally my calendar had been empty for quite some time. With no appointments, there was no need to do laundry with all of my clothes hanging quite comfortably in the closet. I suppose I could go out and buy groceries, but I haven’t really been hungry for days. It’s all been coming to a close. It’s kind of fitting that we’ve reached the last week of May. It’s that last week of school feeling in a very, very big way. There’s nothing more to do, so everything slows down. Every appointment has been met. No new appointments have been made. It’s all indelibly over. It’s the same with everybody all over the place. There’s really no surprise here. This moment had been planned for decades ago by people who wanted to cash-in on the end of everything with the big final sales and parties and everything.

It’s weird and oddly peaceful watching everything end. I guess I really hadn’t anticipated what exactly I’d be doing at this moment. So actually coming to be here is more than a bit of a surprise even though I’ve seen it coming for a very, very long time. Honestly, I should have made plans for this moment. Of course, if I’d made plans for The End, that would’ve pushed back the end of everything.

I walk out on the street and look around and see that everyone else is more or less in the same boat as me, which makes sense. If anybody had made any specific plans for the end of the world, it wouldn’t’ve actually happened, because there would’ve been things going on. And so here we are. Right back where we were supposed to be, I guess. Makes perfect sense. I just wish I knew what to do.

It’s really a very beautiful credits crawl. Everybody who has ever been seems to be getting credit for something. How nice for us all.


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Russ Bickerstaff is a professional theatre critic and aspiring author living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with his lovely wife and two daughters.


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