A Quick Note from the Post Apocalypse
by Zeke Jarvis
So it turns out that the post-apocalyptic world is kind of a lot like the pre-apocalyptic world. There’s a ton of waiting. Like how you’d be in school and you’d be sitting in class and the teacher would be reviewing for a test and you’d have to kind of pay attention, because you’d seen the stuff before, but you hadn’t really paid attention the first time around either, so now you’re stuck just watching and kind of listening and not really being part of the world. It’s like that all the time now. There aren’t really zombies or anything like that. I heard that there were some people who eat people, at least that’s what this one guy said, but it was kind of hard to focus on what he was telling me, because I kept waiting to see if he was going to kill me or rape me or something, but he didn’t. Once he found out that I didn’t have much food and that I couldn’t move as fast as him, he kind of lost interest, I guess. Plus I got a kind of a gay vibe from him, but maybe what’s gay and what’s straight has changed since the apocalypse. Even before the apocalypse, I thought that Billy Peters was gay, and then he tried to feel me up once. Billy was one of the people who burned to death when the shit hit the fan.
During the apocalypse, there was the kind of stuff that you’d expect to see, like people on fire and stuff, and it always looked like they were dancing, but they were on fire, too, so it was kind of sexy, but not, like, sexy sexy. Not like you were turned on. It was more sexy like how Miley Cyrus was sexy when she was alive. Like you’d see her on TV and be like, “Wow, this is kind of crazy; I bet it’ll get great ratings”, but not like something you really totally enjoy, either. But now that’s all done, the fires and Miley both, and we’re stuck again, just kind of waiting it out. And you see people going by sometimes, and the animals are out a lot more. I guess they don’t have as much to be afraid of, but they’re scarier now. That’s for sure, because you can’t call the police or animal control or anything. Which is another thing. Before the apocalypse, the police always seemed so lame, like hall monitors, but for a living. But now that they’re not here, I get it, I guess. If I had to choose between having Miley Cyrus and having the police, I would’ve taken the police. If I had to choose between Ashton Kutcher and the police, I’d take the police (even though he does have washboard abs), but I heard that Ashton Kutcher’s still alive. I mean, another person I met told me that, but it was just like, “okay, what good does that do me?” You know?
Because there used to be this saying, “Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know who Ashton Kutcher is,” but now I think a lot of us are basically living under rocks, and who cares who Ashton Kutcher is? It’s not like he’s going to save us. Not like I am, either, but it just sort of put things in perspective or whatever, but it’s too late to do anything about it now. It’s like what is this perspective going to do for us when there’s no power or phones or anything? Plus I think Ashton Kutcher's face looks a little weird, because his mouth is too big for the rest of his head. But anyway, he's not going to help us and neither is this perspective thing. And, really, it isn’t any better for us than Ashton Kutcher. Well, maybe a little better, because Ashton Kutcher might steal your last bit of food. He seems like the type.
But anyway, I guess I'm writing this in the hope that we'll rebuild everything, all the power and the police stations and stuff. And I don't necessarily think that we're going to not totally blow things up again (if we build the same crap, then we'll probably just do it again), but the next time around, when there's an apocalypse, maybe someone will find this and be like, “Yeah, I don't know who Ashton Kutcher was, but he sounds like a dick, and I'm glad that someone else thinks all this was kind of pointless, but I should keep trying, because they were thinking about things and trying.” And I guess that's what I want. I just want someone to read this and to get it, so it's like I said, things haven't actually changed that much. Like, I don't want to compare myself to Anne Frank or anything, but I'm kind of doing what I think she was doing. I'm just wanting to be heard by somebody who isn't even born yet. Because I know that I don't really have a lot to look forward to or anything, and I don't think that I'm going to teach anyone else anything really, but maybe I can just get them to kind of feel okay.
Well, no. Even that isn't really true. What this is really about is the fact that I actually want to feel okay, and pretending that someone is eventually going to pick this up and read it is the only way that I can figure out how to do that. And I pretty much know that it's not going to happen, and I kind of know that this is going to burn up or get blown away in the wind or something, but I can't not write this, because I have all this time, and I don't know what else to do. So doing a bunch of crap that doesn't mean anything to anyone is what I'm doing, which really isn't that different from before the apocalypse. I mean, it's about the same as sitting in algebra. So that's that.
And if you are Ashton Kutcher, and you find this, and you’re reading it thinking that you should tear it up so that future generations don’t think that you’re a dick, then fuck you, Ashton Kutcher. Just fuck you.
© Zeke Jarvis, 2018
Zeke Jarvis is an Associate Professor at Eureka College. His work has appeared in Moon City, Thrice Fiction, and Posit. His books include So Anyway…, a collection of introductions to poems that don't exist and In A Family Way.
A Quick Note from the Post Apocalypse was read by E. James Ford with music by Kevin Orton on 11th September 2018 for The Liars’ League Songbook at the Brooklyn Book Festival.