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Apathy, Chapter 8 Left With Zero

November 18, 2018

At what felt about noon, noonish, we had a knock at the door. I checked the peephole and saw that the looked like Jehovah Witnesses, we don’t need that shit right now. A part of me wanted to just ignore them, but something told me to say something…

I said, “We’re not interested.” I fucking hate myself.

“Oh, hi!” The goofy lookin’ white guy said with a goofy-lookin’ smile and a slight wave. “We’re not offering anything, just letting you know that there’s going to be a block meeting, we live up the street, and we want to establish a conversation with all the residence within a mile radius.” He paused while the door remained shut then, he continued. “It’s basically a block up the street, we have a lot to talk about, but mostly we feel that a neighborhood watch should be a priority. The meeting will be later today when the sun starts to go down. I think we could all manage to get there around that time and don’t worry we’ve made signs to help you find the meeting.”

I said, “OK, thank you,” and they didn’t leave. They stood there for what felt like a minute. “You can go.” Jesus Christ. 

My Dad asked, “Who was that?” Minutes after they left.

“It’s- thanks,” my Dad handed me a warm Bud Light, “It’s a neighborhood watch meeting. A block meeting about everything that’s going on. They were creepy though.”

“That’s not a bad idea,” he said as he opened a beer. “I don’t like the idea of leaving the house though… I also don’t like the idea of you going out there alone.”

“It gets fucking dark out there, I’m not going outside at night. Shit, I don’t like leaving during the day, but it’s just you and me.”

I think I made a mistake by saying that because I could see that he was holding back tears for Paul- after a second or two he said, “So, we stick together?”

“I guess that’s how it has to be. I don’t feel comfortable with-”

I guess it was instincts or was it something else, that had me throw myself to the ground. In a not too far off distance, I heard gunshots. Pop, pop pop pop. Reminded me of the other week…

“The hell are you doing?”

“You don’t hear that!? Get the fuck down, Dad!”

He did so, in his old and achy sort of way. God, I hate those pants.


In the distance was a house being robbed. Much of the world’s money was lost in online banking, so many people were left with zero. The villainous husk of people who find themselves at a whits end erupt in a tizzy of desperation and guilt. May God have mercy, when a simple robbery turns into a murder, which in turns becomes a murder-suicide. Panic sets in and a betrayal of one’s scruples causes a flurry of hate and contempt. Actions from sheer fear and lack of integrity.

A bloody shame that we as a culture should rely on the advent of technology to the point where our police state revels in martial law with nobody to stand up for what’s right because of the weakening of a society rendered many cowards and the least heroes.

Then in an instant that has lasted the last few days, Albert had devised a plan to make a pilgrimage to a cancer patient that is holding out somewhere up in the mountains near a resort that Albert had once worked at.


After the gunshots, we went back to silence.

I hadn’t noticed that I was crying when I said, “How are we supposed to live like this?”

“I dunno, honey, but I think we should go to that meeting. Maybe get out of this area, there has to be a nicer part of-”

“Yes, let’s get the fuck out of here, but to where?”

“I have a friend that I would like to check in on.”

I’ve never heard my Dad ever talk about having any friends.


Sitting up in the mountain next to the Village Green resort was a bald woman, thin and despite wearing the thickest jacket she could find, she was shivering. Looking off in the distance across the view of the sudden valley, she could hear her dear friends Jim and Ronnie arguing.

Ronnie, with way too much confidence, said, “It’ll be OK, you just have to coast all the way down on the break.”

Jim responded, “Like hell, I’m going to get down there in one piece!” The road down the mountain to civilization was steep and wavered left and right. Jim looked down the road and felt his world lose control, “I will die!”

“It’s dangerous, yes, but just ride the break. You’ll be fine, I promise.”

“Ronnie, you’re not listening to me, I WILL DIE! Why don’t you-”

“I have seniority on you!”

“We’re not at work dumbass!”

The bald woman turned around at the two and said, “We’ve still got supplies, we can decide on how we’ll escape this death trap when we need to. I still got a month or so of food in the snow behind the house. It’ll be fine.”

“I still don’t like leaving food out,” Jim said with a disgusted face.

The bald woman sighed and said, “You’re becoming a curmudgeon, Jim. A crotchety old man.” She then glanced down the road and said, “I’m not going down just yet, because how the hell will we get back?”

“I don’t want to leave,” Jim said with ferocity in his face.

Ronnie closed his eyes and said, “Curmudgeon, you can’t handle change, Jim.”

“Maybe, still… this is my home.”

Then Ronnie lashed out by saying, “Yeah, but Daisy needs her medicine and so much more, Jim! You’re being selfish!”

“I’m being selfish!? Go without me then! I don’t give a fuck! Shit! Why is it me being selfish when you’re just as scared!”

“Guys,” Daisy said as she felt the top of her head, “I’ll do it or not, whatever. I’m tired. Can we fight about this later?”

Jim said, “Yes.”

Ronnie responded with, “Of course. Do you want me to make you tea or something?”

“That’d be nice.”

The two men helped Daisy walk through the wet snow. It was starting to melt and the trio had been in a quiet panic for some time now about food. Daisy had been feeling more and more ill when out of the blue everything stopped. As they stood out at night, they saw the horizon, which used to be riddled with street lights and homes, but now it was empty. All they could focus on what was immediately in front of them and the stars.

How lonely they were because the stars existed without their knowledge and they were the reminder of the minuscule nature of mankind’s kinship with the world.

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