The man in the dark sky is lonely looking down at the people dancing in the midnight flames. It is the last night of what people said was the last year of the world. “Everything is going to end,” someone said, “Fuck it all, let’s party!” And so, December 31, 2012, the world moves to the same beat, and dances to the flickering flames of what was cities and homes. No one is playing safe and everyone is determined to go out with a bang that is of course, except for the man in the dark sky.
The man in the dark sky stands atop a zeppelin circling the globe, surrounded by screens showing every possible catastrophe point. He was tasked to survey and record what finally closes the curtain on this great blue marble in the sky. Be it meteor or tidal wave or Godzilla, his fingers are poised and ready to type the word down and send it to a satellite in space.
The satellite already held the story of mankind, from man’s discovery of fire to the invention of the IPad, all its great wars and woes, its triumphs and disasters. The united hope of humanity was it would one day reach some alien life form and tell the story of that once proud human race, including its last exclamation point.
The project begun years ago. It started out as a prank some minor legislator of some backwards country put in the books. But as the designated year approached, presidents, prime ministers, dictators, and some say even the Pope took it seriously. No one really knew if the world was going to end in 2012 but precautions were in vogue at the time so they hired someone to immortalize mankind. Just in case.
The burden was dropped on one man alone. He was not astronaut or a scientist or a politician. He was in no way important. He was a writer. For ten years he dutifully wrote and rewrote the history of the Earth until it was perfect. Perfect, all the historians and literati applauded, although the writer himself quietly shrugged it off as boring drivel. It was complete, except, as you would imagine, for the the last sentence of the writer’s masterpiece.
And it all ended because ___________.
Now while the world was screaming its lungs out, he draws smoke from a cigarette. It is difficult for him to concentrate with all those pop songs blaring in explode-your-ears volume. A writer always works best in silence and maybe the voices in his head. But he had to. He had to. A miracle, the writer thought, I never thought I’d go out sober. He has to abstain when the world does not. It is a miracle indeed.
Sooner rather than later, the last countdown has begun. And, before the world’s chorus could say that dreaded number, the writer in a flare of subjectivity in a purely objective work, filled in the blank.
And it all ended because Happy New Year.
BJC l December 2012