It was purple, the phone was fucking purple. This transparent jolly-rancher thing had become the medium through which I could break my own heart. Kudos to itís designers, finally a machine that could rise beyond itís humble origins to crush mankind. In a matter of moments I had reduced myself to a stomping furious wretch. June 1st, my birthday. I stood behind Tonyís house barefoot and stupid, staring out over the brush covered hillside, beyond the morning homes to the dunes and the ocean past that all the way to the foamy blue-white horizon of the westward sky. I thumbed the phone off, my arm falling like a dead animal. A canary to be specific, and the gases issued forth from the illegal strip mining operation in my heart had poisoned it with paralyzing apathy. However, Zinc is a very important mineral so the children are told to shield their faces with moist rags before riding the elevator down the smoke black shaft that descends to the pit of my chest. They step off of the elevator, their tiny feet stirring up thin silt-like dust from the floor of the vast empty cavern of my pitch-dark heart-cave. They cover their mouths with rags like bank robbers as they set to work gutting me of everything natural and valuable. Their skeletal hands grasp filthy pick-axes that swing, tearing into every vein they sink into. They claw and scratch away at my hidden deposits of strength and courage. Itís an 18 hour work day and every moment they are carting away my mettle is a precious contribution to the Zinc mining industry.
The hot sun rose behind me like a killer, the heat of a single fiery pirate eye warming my slumped shoulders and of course my back, which I would compare to that of a fallen warrior. One of those Native-American hunters, the kind that wrestles bears and fights wind-spirits with ceremonial spears. The feathers are very luxurious Iím told, and my back is just like that. My thin white shirt does little to prevent the dull pinpricks of sunlight needling through the fabric pushing against the broad of my shoulder blades like urgent ghosts. My back, being similar to an Indian War-Chief is revolting against all of it, the pressure, the heat, the urging, all of it no match for the muscles of Standing Stone, the strongest of all Algonquin braves. The sheep cloud sky of the Monterey Bay arcs high over the flaxen yellow summer flora, all of it quite serene. I glare in disbelief. What right does it have? What fucking right does it have? What could justify this placid state of existence in the wake of such a disaster? Where are the rumbling storm clouds with their spidered lightening? Where the hell are the billowing plumes of smoke? The pillars of salt where sinners used to stand? The crackling sounds of children burning in the ditches? None of the tell tale signs of the apocalypse. The ocean is a docile blue, but it ought to be running red with blood, the crimson waves breaking into a salmon colored foam as they wash against the bone strewn beaches. The sun, not black as one would expect but rather a happy and all too amicable yellow and the moon certainly not plummeting towards Earth. Where is the disaster? Whereís the damn justice in this?
Cut Segment A:
-Perhaps if you wait?
-Yes, wait. Itís coming.
-Is it? Is it really?
-Yeah, you might have missed it, but this is the end of the world. Look around you, all this beauty... gone. I just got off the phone with Erin. Itís all over. You may as well relax, that swelling ocean is about to rise up and sweep us all away, all of us. You better hang onto your shorts buddy, things are about to get pretty raucous around here.
-Well, I donít see anything.
-Well of course not, weíre human. Any minute now the wildlife is going to come teaming out of the wood line. Animals have a 6th sense, itís gonna be a scene right out of the discovery channel, then the ocean jumps out of the Pacific hole and wipes us all away.
-Yeah, any minute now.
-Theyíre on their way. Shhh.... listen.
-I donít hear anything.
-Okay, maybe the moon happens first. First, the moon, then the animals, then the ocean.
-I canít even see the moon.
-Well yeah, itís daytime. Somewhere else itís nighttime and those people... those people are fucked. You canít see it, but youíll feel it when it hits. I expect the Earth to crack in two. Weíll probably be divided on both sides, the survivors that is, and weíll form rival biker gangs. Weíll construct elaborate ramps and jump between Earth 1 and Earth 2 sailing across the warped gravitational field to do battle with one another. In this world I will lead my half of the planet to supreme victory.
-Yeah, and theyíll call me Standing Stone.
-Yeah, any minute now.
No catastrophe, no Earth shattering response, not so much as a frightened deer or smoldering child. Nothing but soft, even, lovely planet as far as the eye can see. To be honest, Iím disappointed. Fuck this place. Fuck itís picturesque landscape and dry clean air. Here I am, alone, in a cradle of hospitable scenery, standing like a smoking brick oven in the California sunshine looking out over the blues, greens, and tans of the world wishing nothing but chaos on it all. I want nothing short of an act of God, where the sky rips open and his hand comes forth and issues death on the entirety of humankind, this would be done with a grandiose gesture, the gesture I feel is the most important part of this scenario... itís wide and sweeping, like a conductor in an orchestral pit directing the tympani and the brass to explode with thunder for the scene where the hand of God issues forth from the sky death upon all of man save one, me, the lone survivor destined to sit in the wake of it all lamenting the loss of human company, a gargoyle on the gates of eternity forever vigilant against love. Yes, I think that would suffice, but this, all of it, unacceptable by my reasonable standards.
The bottoms of my feet scrape along the rough patio cement, occasionally stamping to emphasize my unbridled fury with the world and itís disinterested reaction to my plight. I peer through the closed screen door into the house and I see Randi milling about in the living room. She looks concerned for me, she knows why Iím holding the phone, she may even be reading my posture and she might be able to comprehend that a disaster has just taken place, but I donít think she really understands what this means. Indeed, sheís not grabbing for the phone to bid distant family members farewell, she not running to wake Tony up for a tearful goodbye kiss, she doesnít appear to be sobbing uncontrollably and she displays no signs of starting. Sheís clearly clueless, an innocent caught up in all of this Earth shattering hullabaloo. No, sheís ignorant of the ramifications of what just occurred, I can tell because sheís not so much as assembling the basics of survival, in fact, from the smell of it sheís cooking french-toast.
Cut Segment B:
-Randi, what are you doing? This is no time for french-toast. We need to be stockpiling food and weapons.
-Look, thereís no time. First the moon, then the animals, then the ocean. Do we have gasoline? Weíre going to need gasoline.
-What are you talking about Ryan?
-Motorcycles Randi, motorcycles, the kind that go ďvroom.Ē Get with it, weíre wasting precious time. This is the end of the world. Any minute now the moon is going to crash into our little blue orb and snuff out life as we know it. The moon hits the other side of the planet, probably somewhere in central Asia, maybe Iran or Pakistan? I donít know, but itís coming. That side of the planet is gone either way, just fucking gone Randi. Got it?
-You know I donít like that word.
-Yeah, and any survivors are probably mutants, and weíre going to have to fight them to survive because weíre normal and theyíre freaks. The world is broken into two pieces and weíll jump the gaps on our motorcycles to do battle with the mutant empire. Do we have gasoline? God, weíre going to need motorcycles too. I mean you guys drive a Cavalier, nobody will take that seriously. Brandon has a Camaro, thatís cool, but the rest of us are going to have to drive motorcycles, itís not as if weíll be able to take the train. Look, weíre wasting time. We need to get on this now before itís too late, I mean itís already too late, but we need to use what time we have left.
-Okay... ummm... Iím cooking french-toast.
-Iíll get the gasoline!
Iím so illogical. I expected the moon to suddenly fall out of the sky just because my relationship with Erin went sour. I guess in retrospect that was kind of silly, after all it takes time for the moon to move from itís traditional orbital position to ground-zero mutant city. I clearly wasnít thinking straight, and for that as I am sorry both personally and professionally. I feel a duty to warn you however, that according to my now scientifically derived calculations it should all be over any minute now. I just hope the moon doesnít land on us as I have absolutely no desire to be a mutant, Iíd rather be one of the normals. If I were a mutant I would eradicate mankind for my deformed brethren. You gotta stick with your roots man, and you gotta know who your friends are.
The air is thick with heat, the ocean is painted a deep blue and my hands are reddening fists. My arms are tangled knots of sinew, my veins are ivy crawling the length of my body, the whole bastard form of it moving, shaking with hate for her, I hate her, I fucking hate her.
Cut Segment C:
-You donít hate her.
-No, I clearly do. Look what she did. You saw what she did. Iíve been used and tossed aside, she strung me along man. Iím rejected! Iím not supposed to be rejected, Iím a fucking cut above, look how hard I tried! Would anyone else have bothered for so long? I was something else, I was a fucking super hero!
-You changed nothing, accept it.
-I accept nothing. Didnít you hear what I said? I jumped tall buildings, I outran bullets man!
-You need to move on.
-You need to shut your mouth before I start handing your teeth to you.
-You had to have seen this coming. Be gracious.
-Fuck gracious. Fuck her. She needs to be aware of the extent of my pain. She needs to see the bones of my sadness bare to the world, available, so fucking stark-white fucking real that she canít help feeling guilty. Her remorse for hurting me has to consume her very being. When she closes her eyes she needs to see her own words of dismissal scrolling across the backs of her flittering eyelids. She wonít sleep, sheíll lay awake at night and remember her crimes against me. Everything she becomes from this day forward has to be a direct result of what she has done here today. She has to live her life as a shadow, skulking in her own shame, a ghost in the knowledge that she has cast me, of all people, aside. It needs to be abundantly clear to her just how very angry I am.
-How angry are you?
-Perhaps this graph can be of help in the expression of my anger?
-Iím a volcano of anger, repressed rage on the verge of an explosion.
-Yeah, I could kill a parking lot full of kittens.
-Even the ones in the handicapped spaces. You know the, the fucking one legged crippled window licking kittens. All of them dead. Iíd take off their little helmets and crack open their skulls like hard-boiled eggs.
-My voice of reason just said ďdudeĒ in an inner dialogue. Thatís rad.
I go back into the house, quiet, humbled, defeated and, according to the Army in dire need of a haircut. I will forgo the haircut for the moment given the impending end of the world. My rough and tumble gang of motorcycle miscreants will follow me in spite of my shaggy coif. Thereís French Toast on the table and itís painfully obvious that Randi has made absolutely no attempt to ready herself for the impending apocalypse.