Finding Happiness in the Apocalypse
I once told my therapist that my happy place was on the edge of a broken down building, in the middle of an apocalypse that's left the world barren and desolate.
That's probably the least bullshit thing I've ever told a therapist. Dystopia and fantasy are the novels that have always interested me, a kind of forbidden allure that even now I still don’t understand.
Maybe that's why now, sitting here, it feels so surreal. It looks exactly like it did in my head, even all these years later, and I only have one thought in my mind.
God, I was so fucking stupid.
It’s always easy to read about the end of the world. To romanticize it in your head. Somehow, I thought the apocalypse would be exciting, new, beautiful, the kind of danger and glory that I never got as a kid. I thought my life was boring.
But that? That was a carnival compared to this.
Oh, sure, I can steal whatever I want. I don’t have to worry about money, or showers. No obligations, no structure. My to-do list consists of three things: eat, sleep, and explore.
It’s everything I ever wanted, and it’s fucking boring.
Back in my old world, I was lonely. I was burnt out. I was jaded and bitter and I was tired. God, was I tired.
Now? I’m all of those things, but more. I’m more tired, more lonely, more burnt out, more jaded, and a hell of a lot more bitter.
We always want what we can’t have, I suppose.
Yesterday I talked to a raccoon. Or, tried to. It screeched at me and ran off with my sock. That encounter shouldn’t have bothered me as much as it did. But it did; it did bother me. And it still bothers me.
I can’t remember how the world ended. I remember my past, it’s not like full-blown amnesia, but when I try to remember how I got here… nothing. I don’t remember the news stories, I don’t remember a disease, or a bomb. All I know is that at some point, I stopped living in my idyllic bubble and ended up on the roof of this building. I don’t know what it used to be. My sense of direction has always been shit, and these days, there aren’t any street signs to tell me where I am, or where I should be.
I always said humanity was going to end. I’d started saying it long before 2020. I’d been fantasizing about the end of days from the beginning of my days, I suppose.
Normal people, they thought about boyfriends or girlfriends, or maybe the really enlightened ones dreamed of world peace and blossoming fields. But me? I dreamed about apocalypses. I dreamed about fighting monsters and superpowers and living in a haunted house. I dreamed about secret organizations, with me caught in the middle. I dreamed about fiction. And now, my fiction has become reality, and I hate it.
Typical me, I suppose.
I was scared to get into middle school. I’d read too many books about how awful it was. But by the time I got to high school, I realized that the worst years of my life were in elementary school. I lost my pets, was swamped in educational pressure and bullying, and my only friend was constantly manipulating me and I was too naive to realize it.
I made a lot of mistakes in those years. We all did.
I thought, by the end of high school, I would be fixed. No more mistakes. No more bad decisions. No more pain.
But obviously I must have made a mistake somewhere along the line, because here I am.
I’m living in this apocalyptic wasteland.
And somehow, I keep feeling like it’s all my fault. Like my fantasies caused this, somehow.
But of course, that’s just my imagination acting up again. I’ve always wanted to be a main character, even if I never had the strength to admit it to myself. I wanted to be the superhero who saves the day, with incredible powers, constantly beating the odds and finding strength even in my weakest moments. I’d even settle for being the surprisingly relatable antagonist, fighting for a warped idea of justice.
But I’m none of those things. I’m not a villain, or a hero. None of us are. In life, there’s no such thing as a main character. Even here, when I’m the last person alive, I’m no main character. I’m just another droplet of conscience in the rainstorm of the universe.
Someday, I’ll be gone. No more boredom. No more selfishness. No more pain.
But for now? I guess I'm trapped in my own fantasy.