breathe, 1, 2, implode

Don’t worry about the cost of milk because you won’t need to worry about it much longer. Nor the cost of gasoline, if that’s more your thing. Nor blood pressure. The falling sky is none of your concern. Simply go inside and remain there, ensconced in your precious little crab-house, waiting for the next infusion of energy. Read a book. Watch a movie. Enjoy these things because nothing else is real, or, if it is real, it’s not something you can worry about. The tanks are rolling down the interstate, but what can you do to stop a tank? Nothing, so just keep your eyes fixed on the square of color splashed irregularly on your face. The telephone rings, and it might be a friend calling to warn you of danger or it might be them, calling to inquire as to your state of being. Are you okay. Do you require assistance. Negative. Listen to the radio. As long as they’re broadcasting, that means the end isn’t quite here. Watch old videotapes, programs from two, three months ago. People irrevocably caught up in their own chic wisdom and self-confidence, so confident that they can’t possibly be dead. There can’t possibly be vandals looting the stores. The food is going to continue to be brought in, magically, by trains or buses or airplanes or trucks; flesh piled high, boxes of artificialized natural products, bags of crisp goodness. Listen to music. That’s more proof of your existence. Because if you can still hear the music, things can’t be so bad. Become lost in yourself. Caught up in small trivialities. A wooden sagging from the weight of potted plants, the plants dead, the soil spilt. The dripping faucet in the kitchen, the one you can hear when you wake up at 3 o’clock in the morning and wait for the oppressive silence to overcome everything, followed by that deafening roar, the sound of helicopters, off-road vehicles, thousands of footsteps, artillery fire. The light-bulb in that lamp in the living room, the fake bronze one that you ‘inherited’ from your aunt when she bought a new one. You need to change that light-bulb. Every time it flickers, you freeze; is this it, has the power gone out now? Will everything be sucked into a chasm of?

But no. It’s only the light-bulb. There’s still water. Electricity. The phone lines work, probably; you haven’t checked. The TV’s still shouting at you from two rooms away, through two walls, a door. The toilet flushes your body’s effluent goes away. The danger of silence is everywhere. You’re still connected, and that means everything’s fine, even though you understand none of it. You must still worry. A radio commercial blares– You can’t not play the game, they won’t let you out of it.