I have the most perfect job in the world. I go to work, put in my headphones (wireless), and promptly proceed to do my work. The truly sad part is, my job is temporary as they are in the process of re-locating out of state in the next couple of months. I digress. My job allows a lot of time for listening to whatever your heart’s desire. One particular week I happened to listen to two separate apocalyptic books. The first was called “Earth Abide” and the second “The fifth wave”. (I highly recommend the first, it gives you a lot of food for thought).
In listening to these two audio books I immersed myself in the main characters plight, really let my imagination take me away from the monotonous, boring and more often than not, frustrating work I was desperate to escape. ::Spoiler Alert:: The main character in the story was naturally introverted. This caught my attention because I’m the opposite. I naturally love to be surrounded by people. If there was such as job as running around making people genuinely smile, really tickle their happy place, I would be a millionaire…ahh, but one can dream…
I naturally gravitate towards people. I’m humbled by people’s stories. I don’t care if you are a millionaire or some homeless person living on the street. Your story is beautiful to me. I want to know it all. I have a hunger for stories. Five minutes alone with me and given the right situation, I will have you regurgitating your life story. And when I finally leave you, you will have a smile plastered on your face. Now you would think I would have made an excellent salesman…nope. Can’t sell squat. I stink at it. Awful, really… (Sigh), oh well, what can I say. This gift of mine is not for profit.
Ok, now that you have a small snapshot of who I am, you can better understand my point of view and how “Earth Abide” truly impacted my thinking. I walked around for the next week imagining what I would be doing at that second, had there been an apocalypse. First thing’s first. If there was, by some miracle, some way I had survived, I would probably go crazy not too long afterwards. I would not be able to survive alone. To not have any human contact. To never hear another story. To never see another smiling face…well, that’s just unthinkable. My imagination cannot grasp the loneliness that would follow. The second thing is, what type of group would I fall in with? How long would I wonder around before I settled down? Would I be the same or the opposite? Would I hurt others? Would I be weak or powerful? All these things crossed my mind. The possibilities are staggering. In the end, I feel I would make an amazing Queen. Yup, I would be benevolent and kind. The best supreme ruler ever. At least that’s as far as I took that thinking. But really, after imagining being supreme ruler what else is there?
Another point the main character points out in the story, is the abundance of STUFF our society will have left behind. Most likely the first two or three generations after an apocalypse would be fine. Cars would last as long as tires hold out. You would never have to wash another pair of clothing, just go to the store and pick stuff up. Medicine is found everywhere, homes, pharmacies, cars, etc. Food, well, anything not in a can will most likely go to the rats and other creatures like that.
In order to exercise my child-like views, I use my healthy imagination all the time. In this case, my imagination told me, aside from the loneliness, there would be no real challenges after an apocalypse. But what if I were several generations removed? How would I find the delicious and abundant food called bananas? Would I have to travel? What do banana seeds look like? What about mixed nuts? I know where cashews come from, but there are no cashew tree’s around here. What about strawberries? Where I live the only thing that I would be able to grow would be lettuce.
As panic took over (my imagination is really good and my mind has time to wander and ponder these things while I’m at work) I decided to take action. So, I started to ask my outdoorsy husband how to grow plants. He went out and purchased little disks of peat moss that expand when you add water (now where am I going to find that years after an apocalypse?). I planted approximately 12 different types of seeds (did you know asparagus takes two years or more to grow?!?!). And currently said seeds are little sprouts…yup, I kept baby plants alive, me, the girl with a brown thumb. The girl who killed aloe, am growing stuff.
This apocalyptic thinking has allowed me to appreciate different things (such as the ability to listen to audio books all day). Not only am I more appreciative of the stuff I have, but I also appreciate where it comes from. The awe inspiring ability to create new things (such as this little story) and not have to worry about every day survival (yes, I’m a spoiled American who is just now learning to appreciate what she’s got).
Living in my apocalyptic head has been fun, interesting, and sometimes a bit scary. What would you be like if there was an apocalypse? What would you miss most? Would you gather all the things around you you've always wanted (even though they do not work)? Would you be a King/Queen or Supreme Ruler? Aside from people, what would you miss the most? Electricity? Running water? Strawberries?