a nod to the end of the world

by tobias crabtree

i guess i can talk about this, seems like everyone is these days. this morning i thought about the end of the world. i was eating a handful of kale and sipping coffee and then i was wondering about what “the end of the world” means. is it the end of everything, or just people (after all we are so important, right?)?

i weighed the difference between human extinction and total oblivion. things do seem to be quite a mess. we fight over who’s in charge and what government is best and who’s god is the truth.

and so i decided that i don’t care. that’s right, i don’t care…except for that girl in the health food store that talked to me about kale and smiled so much and said she loved my earrings.

i don’t care…except for my kid brother, who ain’t a kid anymore and who works 70 hours a week but will always pick me up from the airport at any hour no matter what because he’s my friend and he’s just made like that on the inside.

i don’t care…except for that elderly woman that was walking her dog through central park and saw a broken version of me on a park bench, ( me, with long shaggy hair and tattoos and a beard and a shadowy soul) yeah, and she sat next to me anyway and asked me if i would be ok and her wiener dog licked my hand and i said that i didn’t know and she said that sorrows pass no matter how big they are…all this and it was fall and sunny and cold in new york city.

i don’t care…except for little 3 year old (almost 4) ruby reed who calls herself ruby rose because that’s more glamorous and who dances with me to adele and who can eat four (maybe 5) doughnuts on a wednesday afternoon in october.

i don’t care…except for my sister who quit drinking after she crashed and crushed her body and changed her life and became amazing again.

i don’t care…except for big raw-boned Hunter Dahlberg, who looks like he eats nails and could never be hurt but has been hurt so he can know when someone (like say, me, for instance) else is hurt and so he shows his heart and his heart makes you want to heal.

and if smart phones and ipads and macbooks and email and trending and friending and skyping and wifi all go away, we still have each other. and as cynical as i get, i see my reflection in the eyes’ of my nephews. as frustrated as i get at the guy who absolutely must be in front of me before the next traffic light, i know he is human. as fearful as i am of the possibility of my own broken heart, i feel it reaching out for something missing.

so maybe i’m not ready for the end of the world. besides, oblivion seems kind of boring.