The End of the World

When the world began to end, I read on the internet some guy ate a bat, and suddenly I couldn’t go to the movies or hit up the pizza buffet. It seems so impossibly long ago, it was recommended I wear a mask and somehow that gave my neighbors the right to berate me with their eyes when I forget it at home, I swear, accidentally.

Ages go, I felt invisible in my life, blissfully invisible.

Tonight my back hurts, as I read about the world ending because I hadn’t gotten around to replacing my office-chair. I’ve been moving it with me to every new apartment I lived in for the last ten years.

Three different places in three different neighborhoods.

Same ole chair.

Now it feels as if I am sitting directly on the metal frame while outside my window, the world ends.

Poor George Floyd, poor us all.

I’d put the chair on the street for one of the hundreds of people sleeping outside to use, but tonight might not be the best night to do anything out there with valid social-unrest upsetting the city. Normally the East Village isn’t such a bad place to be, with its piss soaked sidewalks dappled with fly-covered human-turds.

Tonight, though, is different.

I decided I miss the Village of yesteryear while reading about how New York City is dumping criminals on the street with no clear idea of how to find them again and give them court dates or just make sure they are staying out of trouble. Casts a pallor on the guy, normally sleeping under a fleece-blanket, ten buildings down. Doubt he is there tonight. Doubt many are glad they are here at all, while the world ends.

I read the city is emptying as the world ends and many apartments sit vacant.

I hope it stays this way, even after the world ends, so I don’t have to stand on the subway ever again.

That reminds me of something I meant to look-up about the world ending, and after a typo-ridden Google search I find myself reading about COVID-patients sent back to old folks homes to quarantine, killing everyone inside- like little bombs of old-people rotter.

At the time, people were thanking God, also known as Governor Cuomo, in some circles, that we had all those ventilators to put people on, until it turned out that the ventilators were killing people by removing the willingness he bodies had to breathe on their own.

Sad, the end of the world takes our best intentions and twists them, making them evil.

Tonight I read about the end of the world because there is nothing else to read. I read about the end of the world instead of sleeping because the world is ending. The world is ending as my back hurts, and the food in my fridge rots, and the people outside my window scream for justice and break windows and burn cop cars.

The world is ending, and I read, and I wait for the microwave to ding so I can grab my popcorn, quickly, though, because I don’t want to miss a single detail about the end of the world.

Published by Bryan Aiello

Raised on Florida’s Gulf Coast, Bryan served in the Army, graduated from the University of South Florida and now calls Brooklyn home. For more of his fiction and updates on his podcasts, follow him on Twitter: @bryaiello and Reddit: /u/voyage_of_roadkill.

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