Alternate Endings

No end will suffice, not fire nor ice. In the beginning, things started off with a bang, a big one at that, after a night of fitful sleep, though how one measures big in the face of nothing surrounding seems insolvable. In any event, life, what is (the distinction between organic and disparate proven fallacious), now looks to have been without beginning, so a world without end seems fitting. Nevertheless, we begin anew, if not afresh, at the diurnal clarion call. To awake is irreversible, at least for a few hours. Always some remains. And while the Big Pop was the most considerable in several hours, having sunk deeper than one can remember, nothing but whimpering since, awake with the bends. But it won’t finish with a whimper. No end and no exit and no exit and no end: how’s that for the unknotting?

Up and about, wandering now bottom of bole (trunkus, luggage compartment, the part of a tree above the roots and below the branches). Think Beckett’s “Krapp’s Last Tape,” evening in the future, looking backward. Distribution. Retail branches, manufacturing roots.

All brick and mortar retail closed, malls emptied – or might as well be, old habits dropped. The only jobs are those deemed essential. Who deems? The Great Deemer. People waiting in long lines to enter the one remaining store where the shelves are empty, just to look around, shopping it’s called, nothing much needed. Staples delivered. The only rigs on the roads these days those doing deliveries. Still, going shopping, something to do. But the shops are all closed, boarded up, a wilderness for the pigeons, cats, possums, racoons, peacocks, squirrels. Even the meek seem to have abdicated.

The cafes closed, bars banned or pubs perished (though one suspects the Speakeasy may be making a comeback), theatres imploded, churches clapped shut. Schools closed forever. Tested and corporations bid accordingly and draft as needed according to five year plans and instead of schooling what one gets is on the job training: slated for a professional sport, a career in medicine, or a space program. But no one is forced to work. Work is not even considered work, but a fulfillment of a combination of want and need. Consider, if you like, the lilies of the field. There are of course those dirty jobs few look forward to, plumbing and such – but still, “Fair is foul and foul is fair.” What’s to be done? Nothing to be done. But that we do it well, or at least try to.