I’d be on my way downtown to the office, getting off the train, making my way in the city through thousands of commuters slogging their way to work like me. A swarm of bodies pushing down sidewalks and across streets, ebb and flow. I’d picture everyone who’s shuffling mindlessly along in front of me, the crowds off in the distance, I’d picture them dead, their bodies strewn everywhere. It’s the usual crumbling buildings, rubble, overgrown plants scenario. I’m not dead in this story, most everyone else is and my family’s not involved.
I don’t know why these thoughts popped into my head. I couldn’t tell you where it was coming from. It could be all the zombie books and disaster movies. That new NBC series (but this was before all the commercial) Or it could be I needed a couple of days off.
Either way, I pictured our “society,” that’s right on the edge of incivility anyway—ignorant, selfish, intolerant —completely falling apart. End of society movies always have people filing out of cities, more our less in an orderly straight line, banding together, a rag-tag bunch of survivors helping their fellow man. Looking at the other commuters I’m not so sure it’d go quite that way.
I’m imagining how these cushy, mostly white suburbanites would handle real problems. Not the airline-lost-my-snow-skis or we-ran-out-of-propane-just-before-the-barbeque. Not Obamacare. Or Romneygate. Real problems. A complete meltdown of everything we know. I’m thinking they wouldn’t do so well.
The nightly news, the Internet, our lives are filled with such unimportant crap these days. Our focus would change after an apocalypse, just a little. All the junk that occupied our time and attention before would become nostalgic trivia. We’d know Third World problems like the other two-thirds of the world. Trying to stay alive would be about all we had time for: food, shelter, and survival. And in a post-apocalypse reality show when you’re off the island, you’re really off the island.
Ahh, the complete destruction of modern society as we know it… It’s just a fantasy, for now. But a guy can daydream, can’t he?