In the beginning, news reports were a constant scroll across the bottom of my TV screen. I remember thinking how stupid that was since power was already so sketchy, there was no guarantee people who actually needed the information were getting it. Then I would laugh because I kept the channel on all day long, just for the white noise. The quiet was hard to take.
Prepping for pending doom wasn’t like waiting for a monster storm, but the routine was comforting. Nothing would make a difference. Fresh water and stores of canned food would go unused, a gassed generator would sit idle – if it didn’t go up in a fireball, and the plywood covering my windows would only make the inevitable more frightening. I was seriously considering leaving the windows open. I wanted to see what was coming. The anticipation was making me stabby.
I desperately needed to keep my shit together. If I was going to die, I was sure as hell doing it on my terms. There would be no panicking, no mental melt downs, I’d keep it classy.
Some of my neighbors already left, abandoning their homes, heading who knows where. There was no escaping, but if it made them feel better, who was I to begrudge the effort.
The others who stayed, hid in their houses, refusing to come outside. I still sat on my porch on warm evenings. The sunsets were spectacular. Knowing the vivid colors were filtered through smoke and toxins left me feeling rebellious for watching.
The gas mask we bought last summer, a junk store find, turned out to be prophetic. I had no idea if it still worked, though just having it close gave me a sense of calm.
When the end comes, I hope it happens during the day where I can face down the demons. I don’t want it to come in the dark, like some lame bogeyman nightmare.