After a particularly hellish night at work, my legs started to cramp as soon as my shoes scraped against the sidewalk. It had been over a day since I had eaten my last meal, and therein lies the irony of healthcare: We're the shittiest at taking care of ourselves.
As I had exited the building, I had hoped for a downpour to match my mood -- I wanted nothing more than to march home through a thunderstorm, knowing none had been predicted -- and was miraculously greeted with the sudden absence of summer. The sky mysteriously loomed a striated gray, then opaline blue, as sharp and clear as the air that puckered my skin into goosebumps.
"Five Years" by David Bowie streamed onto my headphones, and I remembered laughing about this song in December a few years ago. I made such a big deal about it. That's how my sense of humour works, I guess. The end of the world is always funny.
I stepped off the sidewalk, and a long line of cars that shouldn't have been present erupted into existence at 6:30 in the morning. I stood and watched them. Garbage men on motorcycles in city-worker orange; Mid-Life Crisis sports car blue; a green bus stopped and ejected its contents across the street.
It was like the world was ending in that moment: Everything had abruptly gone cold with the news that we had a limited amount of time, and the moment just froze as I took it all in. A strange sort of twisted beauty, playing out in its humanity, because that is the beauty of it all.
I crossed the street and looked up. There's a building with a mural that takes up the entire side: A pair of hands turning the bricks into a quilt; in my head, the hands of God playing the piano swell inside of everybody.
And as much of a struggle my life has been, I felt a strange sense of peace as I rounded the corner to my street. I had stumbled onto a moment, something I could seal up into a watertight package to seal away into the darkest corners of my heart for a time whenever I would need it most.
I turned my head. A car parked on the side of the street had a bumper sticker of two fingers raised in a peace sign. I think I started laughing as I realized that that's exactly what I want the end of the world to be like. If I would've been blindsided by an asteroid or something a second later, I would've been okay with that. I wouldn't have regretted all that I hadn't accomplished or that I was alone because in that moment, none of it was true.
My brain hurt like a warehouse, it had no room to spare/I had cram so many things to store everything in there.