Conversations on a Creeping Death

by Rhee ©


The worldís going ape-shit around me. Or at least thatís how it seems. A huge chunk of ice broke off the Antarctic due to global warming, the scientists and the greenies are screaming Armageddon. Itís 1998 and every time I look at the horizon, the blue sky with its cotton wool clouds, I keep expecting to see the radiation flash, white hot wind burns, and skin blistering and peeling from my bones. Iím living under the mushroom cloud and Iím scared shitless, waiting for the air-raids. Post apocalyptic nightmares and were ready for war, streetwise kids in army greens and combat boots, hate in their hearts and napalm on their minds. I donít want babies; it makes me sad to look at us, innocent monsters in our skyscraper graveyards. Time flies when things never change. I spend my pay cheque the day Iím paid. I drink too much trying to numb the gnawing rats in my mind. Youíre gonna die, youíre gonna die Ė and I know Iím gonna die Ė I just want it to be Ďnaturallyí not running in blind fear from pigs that fly. The faceless enemy laughing at the chaos.

The pace is picking up and everyoneís gone mad. Personality explosions and energy drainers. I woke this morning to Samson screaming, beating my door down, screaming and racing off in his car. Drinking too much Tequila and carrying too much hate. Hate is everywhere; I smell its sour stink as I walk the streets. People walking around with feral eyes and knives; Hitlerís sermons in their heads and Saddamís mayhem on the telly.

1998 Ė The year Nostradamus predicted to be the beginning of the end. We sit in our concrete prison houses talking about the armed forces, space travel, genetic engineering, laser beams. Throw thoughts back and forth, where to go, what to do, (and for godís sake, donít forget to pack a can opener!) Ė muse on what itíll be like to walk empty, charred streets. Wonder at the horrors we let grow in our brains. I say that weíll probably be dead anyway, so we wont have to deal with the radiation sickness, mutation, creeping death Ė Ďcause thatís what it is, creeping death.

The pollution and bad vibes are wrapping around thicker, drawing us closer, lulling numb minds into a false sense of security. Teeth hidden in the shadows, everything and everyone has teeth. Creeping death. Someone says they hope the first bomb lands right on top of them, they wont feel a thing Ė shadow imprinted on stone and black; no painful horror. Another maintains the belief that aliens will come and save us all. Myself, I reckon were all hell-bent on self-destruction and Ill probably be one of those pathetic fools crying and shitting myself in the corner when it happens.

Creeping death is starting to run. Apocalyptic visions, tsunami come to swallow us all. Pessimism adds lead weights to my days. I wake screaming. We watch movies on destruction, blood and guts and violence.

Leo arrives, "Maybe you guys can help meÖ" fanatical gleam in his eyes. Heís dreaming, you see, prophesising destruction. He knows things, he says heís gonna be famous. "War will break out at 10pm tonight". Heís inventing things, singing, writing Ė going crazy too for all I know. "The world will end" he says. We watch BBC world news and he says he knows all this already (god told him). Theyíve created robotic death, he knows how to stop it but the secretary at parliament house wonít let him speak to the prime minister. He sits on the brown lounge prophesising death. If I was having end-of-the-world paranoia chills and shivers the brown lounge would be the last place Id be. I tell Leo to cool it, stop thinking for a while, have another vodka. Someone tells him to see a shrink. I tell him "Donít stress hey, Ďcause the world wont end, humanity might but that would probably be a good thing right? Life wont end, people will"> I donít think it helped him any. He rambles on the brown lounge to the only guy not treating him like a newly installed mental patient. People get up and leave; they might catch crazy (I hear itís been going around). Leo actually said some intelligent things, relevant points about our big bad world Ė but I've forgotten now. It was all destructive, negative bullshit anyway.

Leo did see a shrink. Diagnosed with drug psychosis, too much marijuana (heís got better drugs nowadays, legal ones). The world didnít end at 10pm, war didnít even break out.

We eventually got bored with apocalyptic conversation; we talk about Crazy Leo now instead. He draws inside himself and becomes little, boring and defeated, prophesising in the dark. We watch violent kidís cartoons and drink more piss; I still expect a flash upon the horizon any day now.



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