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My Last Shower I can remember I was paralyzed by the warm water. It was such a long day, it felt real good to just stand and not speak, think, or really do anything. I was taking my time; this break should not go wasted. I was just letting the water hit my head and slowly work its way down my neck and chest before hitting the floor with a rhythmic splash. As I reached for the shampoo, I heard a siren outside. It was a normal sound being so close to the city. I lathered the shampoo through my hair and again let the falling water drown my head. As the last suds reached the drain I heard more sirens, somewhat closer. Again, a normal sound, but I’ve never heard this many. For the next five minutes I remember standing there and listening to the sirens: there weren’t just a ton of them, but I could tell they were going back and forth on a road not far from my suburban house. I wanted to get out and turn o
The Survivors The End was near. It was the whole time, but no one paid attention. No one saw the foul weather, internet crash, or the insane darkness as anything. They do now. All those non-believers are dead, both literally and figuratively. The ones who managed to survive the collapse were so broken, they could do nothing more than sit and waste air. While those who are left and have the mind and the guts to move forward are surprisingly unfazed by what they see. Uncensored destruction everywhere and none of them flinch, it’s like they’ve lived through it before.
To the survivors the sight is like a time warp to an unfortunate future. Just a month ago, the city was normal. That’s the only time the destruction digs in, to realize just how much has changed. There is very little there that remains useable, nothing there to inspire us to rebuild. Pain
The Coffee GodThe Coffee God behind the counter shuffles foot to foot, a dance of steam and espresso. Black painted fingernails, inch gauged ears and a gray striped sweatshirt, hood crooked on his back. There's a cigarette tucked behind one ear; it bobs and twitches with each step.
“Non-fat caramel latte,” he calls, just as he always does, part of a spell, part of a mantra, toneless (just a tuck at the end). I reach. He looks up.
The espresso maker hisses.
There's something like a grin, something like a spark, something like a shared secret linked eye to eye. When he passes over the drink (rough cardboard sleeve hot to the touch), he lingers. Our fingers brush, a shiver, a jolt, a ten-watt shock.
The Coffee God tilts his chin, shouts, “Hey, mind if I take my break now?”
and ducks around the counter without waiting for a reply.
He slips his cigarette between his lips without taking his eyes from mine. I follow him out the door.
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