Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The Last Man

I was recently tagged by Samuraifrog to do this particular meme, and as you well know, I am not huge on these, but the premise of this is so interesting, I had to pursue it. And that being said, this whole thing was started by someone named JDC.

The question at hand is:
"You wake up tomorrow and every person on the planet has vanished. What do you do?"

Day One: I think it would take me a while to realize that I was perhaps the last person left on Earth. Upon that realization (which the television universe wouldn't entirely acknowledge the cataclysm because there would still be stations that run programming by robot. I would likely be in a state of denial about the situation at hand, but being a pragmatist, I would look up some of the little tricks I would need to know online before both the internet and power grid became non-functional, information which would not be widely available from any books I could readily find (like hotwiring a car and other activities which civil society frowns upon). While the amenities lasted, I would take advantage of the perishables, as I know they will be fleeting. I lack most of the basic skills to survive outside of the confines of civilization, so there are going to be some harsh lessons to be learned if I am going to survive.

Week One: I have discovered the fun of living in a world without consequences. I could see myself engaging in destructive behavior just because I could get away with it and engaging in other behavior that would lead to my former incarceration... like shooting at parked cars and breaking and entering. Then again, who am I really hurting at this point. At the same time, I would to contemplate the fact that without other human beings and their skills, I am going to be in trouble if I was to break my glasses (a situation like the one lamentably faced by Burgess Meredith in the Twilight Zone episode Time Enough at Last), need medical help or require something else that requires specialization and timely maintenance. By now, I expect that the power system would have largely broken down, so any food which was perishable would have likely started going south. I have likely eaten the last fresh meat and frozen food I am going to have for a while. I stock up on a variety of medical supplies... just in case I get in a situation which makes it difficult to acquire them when needed. The water system is also likely compromised, so I would likely be living on bottled water.

Month One: I come to realize why in a post-apocalyptic society gasoline is so prized... and how important electricity is in delivering it. While I may have gotten used to elements of this new lifestyle, depression over the things I've lost will consume me. With a stash of prescription medications, including a wide variety of painkillers, anti-depressants and sleeping pills, along with unfettered access to booze from both bars and liquor stores, I would descend into a cycle of substance abuse, which while killing me, also keeps me somewhat sane. I will likely be cooking with propane, as it would still likely be available in a form that I could transport depending on the season. While I might have felt more comfortable in this survival mode, there are still many things to learn if I hope to survive. And part of me doesn't want to do so. I am soft, weak, and while I may fantasize about such scenarios, like the zombie apocalypse, I know that I am not a survivor. Every day will be a struggle, shortened by substance abuse of course.

Year One: If I make it to this point without killing myself on purpose, by an accidental drug or alcohol overdose or by act of nature, I will likely be almost ready to take dominion over the world. At some point nature will get the better of me, and my demons should be under control. Hopefully. Perhaps by this point I have a truck full of loot and am slowly making my way across down the highways and byways of the North American continent, looking for fellow survivors, those rare needles in a haystack who would have likely been as isolated as myself. It is a futile search, but it would give my life some meaning, some boundaries which were so painfully lacking in the months previous. I don't know how long I will struggle for, but I am not going to quit. Not yet.

Now I am supposed to pick someone else to do this as well.

I Choose You, Megan!


Megan said...

Interesting, the similarities and the differences I've come across so far while following this meme around. Of course, I've only seen about five or six, and all men, but still interesting.

Have to say the biggest jolt so far is your comment about the glasses. Holy shit, what would I do if I broke my damn glasses?!?

Thanks for the tag. I think.

MC said...

See, I can read without glasses, but anything else beyond a foot or so is a blur.

Of course, I don't think you could buy reading glasses at any supermarket or drug store when that episode of the Twilight Zone was filmed either.

Megan said...

I am the same. Like Donald Pleasance in The Great Escape -

"I can see up close. I can see to work. But you're just a blur."

MC said...

All I know is the last time I had my eyes checked, I was basically in need of the same prescription my mother takes. My eyes are that bad.