Dear Levenson: Meteors from outer space? What's next? – Connor, Richmond, B.C.

Dear Connor,

I know what you mean. Earthquakes, tsunamis, mass shootings, extraterrestrial impact events: These days, life seems shorter than ever. But what's really scary is that in the face of global disaster, death and suffering, I'm still not getting laid.

Not sure life's ever gonna be this terrible and fleeting again, you know? Seems like if there was ever a time to hastily settle for something kinda shitty... I'm just saying. I'm right here.

Death is at our doorstep! Who has time for shopping? I'm a downmarket product. I thought I'd prosper in this kind of economy. You know — the kind where all the other guys in the world are blowing up and rioting and burning everything and doing cannibal shit.

And God strike me dead, I was kinda looking forward to this. I thought: “Oh, Jesus — if the entire Earth, as a planet, was just in turmoil ... if people were dying, everywhere, with blood and pus pouring out of their eye sockets — maybe I could put on a cool outfit, and I dunno...”

I knew just how I'd suggest it. “Look,” I'd say. “I know I'm not exactly what you were looking for, but we've got asteroids now. You saw what happened. You're just walking, whatever... and they rain down, fiery, colossal — y'know, from outer space — and they incinerate your whole body and your face. And you're dead. No warning, you can't react. Random. Immediate death. Could happen at any time.”

I tried this on a date. She said she was looking for someone with a gluten allergy.

“Think I'm gonna wait,” she said. “Hang out for a while, maybe join a club.” Real apologetic. “Thank you. Thank you, though. This impending human eradication from outer space stuff is really fucked up.”

I don't know what else to do. I'd always considered myself a profiteer of suffering — and now, like everything else, I guess the kids are downloading it for free.

I don't know if my ego could handle being the last man on Earth. Have you ever really thought about that?

You wake up one morning, peer through the blinds, and the whole planet's gone. Shit's just smoldering. The sky has turned to fire. And, you know, you gotta go see what's open.

I've worked this out. I venture out into the barren landscape and just start walking. I don't even know where I am. All the landmarks are gone. Scorched rubble unfolds in every direction. But I press on. Gasping, dying of thirst. The soles of my shoes melting under the heat.

And then I see her. At first, just a blur on the horizon — and then, coming closer, the shape of a girl. A pretty girl. It's not Natalie Portman, but she's alright. Looks like she works for a nonprofit. But dreams of opening a locally sourced cheese shop. In a “developing neighbourhood.” I think she's in luck.

“Hey,” I say. “I'm the last man on Earth. I know it for a fact. It's because I was home alone masturbating during the Super Bowl. Luck of the draw, I know.”

She looks scared. I am, too. I'm terrible at this.

“Anyway... Jesus, my sinuses. Is it just me, or is it crazy hot? I feel like I'm getting a migraine. OK, look: I think you're probably the last woman on Earth. And I guess I just introduced myself. No, no — look, I'm not hitting on you. Before you make a face, just listen. Everything's wrecked. I don't even know ... I mean, what are you supposed to do? There used to be a park around here. Alright, alright, I'm getting to it. If you're not busy ... maybe we could find a nice post-apocalyptic place to hang out? I know everything's fucked up, but I actually have a box of Whole Grain Wheat Thins.”

Now, when I play this one out, she doesn't say yes. She doesn't say no.

She kills herself.

She leaps into a chasm of volcanic lava that's opened up where Katz's Deli used to be.

And I am alone. The last person walking the Earth — rejected by the second-to-last. I want to follow her. I want to die.

But before I can jump, the chasm closes.  Then it reopens. As a Starbucks.

I go in and get a latte.

The End,



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