When the world ended I didn’t get worked up, because who was around any more to be impressed by my getting worked up? Nobody, that’s who. I’m not actually positive I’m the last person left on Earth but I am positive I haven’t seen any evidence that I’m not. As I say, though, I’m not entirely downhearted about it. For the first six months I commandeered a series of really lovely cars and road-tripped around the country, sleeping in the kinds of houses that could comfortably accommodate an entire African village or two American hedge fund managers. Took picnic lunches to museums; touched everything; removed paintings from the wall to examine them more closely; stroked the flesh of statues and set mobiles spinning; walked off with a number of the smaller works of art, which, there’s a good case to be made, are all mine now. I’ve inherited everything. Now that the roads are starting to crumble I’ve settled down in a conveniently located neighborhood of a major metropolitan area. There’s still plenty to eat–half the food we invented never really goes bad. I have time, finally, to read everything. I run in ever-widening circles, ten or twenty miles a day. They say human beings evolved to run long distances and I feel that to be true, but I also feel it to be true that we evolved to destroy ourselves. And, of course, to talk, even when there’s no one around to talk to. I assume you agree. You always do. The lack of argument is what might kill me in the end.

divine wind
my end
of the tin-can telephone


3 thoughts on “cautionary

  1. This is lovely account of a last survivor. There are lots of good quotes in this fictional haibun – including “but I also feel it to be true that we evolved to destroy ourselves” And the twist at the end of the person talking to no one. This is great prose! I’d love to see this in an anthology! It deserves it.

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