21st December 2012
Dear human survivors of the Apocalypse / future inhabitants of the planet formerly known as Earth,
Hello. My name is Chris and I am writing this letter to document my final living moments because the World is going to end in a few hours because of the Mayans. Bloody Mayans!
It’s difficult writing a letter when I have no idea what you look like. You’re probably just another human like me. But you might be a giant slug-like mutant creature with loads of different heads and brains, all dripping in ectoplasm and bickering like grannies on the bus; you could be a giant robot dinosaur, all metallic and shiny and merciless; you might not even take a physical form, you might just be *intelligence*, always present yet never seen, simultaneously both here and nowhere, knowing but unknowing, known but unknown…
(NOTE – If you are just a human like me, please disregard all of the previous speculation, and I’d appreciate you omitting it from the final version of the letter that goes in the museum. Don’t make me look like a wally mate, yeah?)
This is it, dear readers. The countdown to 11.11am, which is the time that my friend John in Kentucky reliably informs me that us humans will be faced with our demise, on his website, which is one of the few that is brave enough to tackle the topic (as well as entrepreneurial enough to make a few bucks out of t-shirts on the merchandise section).
I will now document my final moments on earth. The last stage of my journey. The final chapter in the Book of Me. The final thumb-scroll in the Kindle e-book version of the Book of Me…
4:00am – I am awoken by my alarm. This is it. The end of days. My life has now been reduced to a countdown of mere hours.
4:10am – I am awoken again by my alarm. This is it now, I’m ready to meet my maker. I’m ready to face Judgement Day.
4:20am – Again, my alarm wakes me. I decide that two snoozes is enough to take on the Apocalypse and I roll out of bed.
4:25am – I potter around my flat in the dark. I make cup of tea. I think back to the many times that I have warmed a quiet moment alone with a lovely, comforting cup of tea, and I reflect on the quiet dignity of solitude. There is something very beautiful about a person alone with their thoughts – how many wonderful inventions or philosophies has this world been blessed because the great minds of history were able to let their imaginations flourish?
4:27am – I hear keys unlocking the front door. My flatmate Roddick comes back in from his night out. He is eating a kebab and has sick all down the front of his jeans. I tell him it’s the end of the world today. He agrees, before staggering to bed.
4:30am – More pottering about. I am excited at being awake to witness my first ever sunrise. I drag the sofa towards the window and get comfortable, eagerly awaiting the majesty of daybreak…
7:45am – Outside, the loud clatter of the bin lorry wakes me up again. It’s really bright in here and I’m annoyed with myself for totally sleeping through the sunrise. I pop the telly on and doze through ITV’s Daybreak, which is far from majestic.
8:15am – Deciding your final ever outfit is a strange experience. I decide to go formal: black suit, white shirt, and black tie (skinny). The skinny black tie brings the whole outfit together – I feel trendy, like I could be in One Direction (who, dear reader, are a popular band of current times made by a computer).
8:27am – I decide to start an email to my friend John in Kentucky, who has a website about the End of the World.
Here we are, mate. The big day. I hope that you are feeling up for it and ready to look after everyone in SurvivorTown.
I’m just trying to get ready for it here myself, but to tell the truth I’m still a bit hungover from the office Christmas party on Wednesday night! Cracking night mate, went really well.
8:42am – Whilst writing to John my mind wanders and I daydream momentarily. I decide to text Katie – she didn’t book the day off so I figured that sending her a little message would perhaps cheer her up at work.
8:43am – I check my phone. No reply yet.
8:44am – She still hasn’t texted back.
8:45am – Haha, she’s still not replied, haha. She’s probably just in the process of sending a really long reply right now, haha. Right this second.
8:46am – No reply yet. She’s probably playing it cool, making me wait a bit – doesn’t want to seem too eager. I know her game.
8:47am – Still no reply. Really rude if you ask me.
8:50am – My phone rings! My heart sinks slightly as I realise it’s my friend Crane Head. I ask why he’s not on the plane to Kentucky and he says that they wouldn’t let him fly with his goat. He then refuses to tell me why he had a goat with him. He suggests we go looting. When I tell him I’m not interested in looting, only in going out for breakfast, he tells me I’m wasting my final hours and to meet him at Dixons in half an hour – he wants a DVD player.
9:02am – I decide it’s breakfast time and to take a walk into town. My stomach rumbling, I make the important decision of what to eat for my last ever meal. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted eggs and bacon, Indian curry or fish and chips, so I just had them all together – with a couple of hot wings from Kentucky Fried Chicken thrown in just for my friend John, whose email I continued to write after eating.
So anyway John, the party was going well – I bought Katie a drink, we had a little dance, I tried to tell her that she looks gorgeous but she misheard me and thought I said that she looks awkward. It was. Then, to make things even more uncomfortable, Gerry the Area Manager came over and pointed out that we were stood under the mistletoe and I could feel myself go really red! She smiled and went to say something but then the bloody Gangnam Style came on and we all had to do the stupid bloody dance. I didn’t get chance to talk to her much after that. Stupid Gangnam Style.
9:46am – After eating, I walk around the city centre, letting the cool rain splash my face. Refreshing. Nothing makes you feel more alive than a brief downpour. Actually it’s raining quite heavily now. It’s teeming down. It’s teeming down, and one of my shoes is absolutely soaked. This day just gets worse.
9:49am – A kindly older lady in a black veiled hat sees me struggling with my soggy footwear and insists I get under her umbrella. I thank her, stating that it’s a shame that it is raining so heavily on such a sombre day. She agrees and gives my arm a squeeze. I’m starting to feel a bit nervous now.
9:53am – The old lady has walked me to a nice warm, dry church foyer – quite a few people have got the same idea to get in out of the cold. I loudly proclaim this but everyone seems a bit fed up. ‘Spose it is the Apocalypse. Weirdly, everyone else had the same idea as me with the suited attire.
9:56am – RESULT! The Vicar showed up, I thought he was going to chuck us out but he’s invited us all into the main church bit! Hoping he’ll let us have some wine. Somewhere to sit, salvation, and Shiraz: the Holy Trinity. These people I’m with are well miserable though, no one seems excited about the wine and barely anyone is accepting my high fives.
9:59am – Right, so I’ve just realised that I’ve gatecrashed a funeral. This is really awkward because I wanted to get first dibs on the booze so I kind of elbowed my way to the front aisle – I can’t exactly just duck out quietly. I did wonder why everyone else was crying – thought it was because there was only one bottle for us all to share!
10:02am – I feel like people are starting to realise that I’m not meant to be here. Even the Vicar seems to be having a bit of a glower at me.
10:06am – the deafening sound of Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe echoes around the church and as I try to check my phone to read the text as I am frogmarched to the exit by two burly mourners. It’s her! She’s replied! “lol yeah i will miss u 2 when the world ends. do u know were my good stapler is? x” Good how she’s putting a brave face on for all of this, I know she’s clearly terrified. I text her back.
10:15am – I’m now into my final hour. I walk around town, not sure what to do with my time. I check Facebook on my phone for a bit. I see that Darren from Accounts has unfollowed me on Twitter #notevenbotheredDarren
10:23am – I’m walking around town and there’s people everywhere. Probably Christmas shopping. What’s the point? We’ll all be dead soon away… I feel I’m on the brink of an existential crisis. Feel a bit weird. Panicking slightly.
10:26am – OK I’m really nervous now. I’m actually breaking down. Don’t know if I can handle this. I’m ashamed to say that in my moment of fear I turn to an intoxicating sedative to take the edge off. I order a Hot Chocolate with Amaretto in it. Hold on tight…
10:38am – I start to come around from my liquor-fueled manic episode. Don’t know where I am. Seem to have my face buried in a fluffy white pillow. It’s quite comfy.
10:39am – …It turns out that I was actually sat on Santa’s lap in the shopping centre Grotto, crying into his beard. Santa seems scared. I quickly leave, grabbing a present on the way out.
10:43am – On a big comedown now. I see a young mother struggling with her shopping and a bored little boy dragging his feet. I walk over and give him the present I took from Santa. Mother thanks me, but as I walk away I hear the boy say “this isn’t a Nintendo DSi” despondently, sulking at the 100-piece Jigsaw of The Yorkshire Dales.
10:47am – As I walk home I try to calm down by singing the Louis Armstrong song. I get as far as “Red Roses too” before someone shouts at me to “shut the hole in my face.”
10:55am – I’m home now. I take one last look around the flat before draping my bedsheets over my kitchen table. It might not be as sturdy as John’s bunker, but I feel comforted as I crawl underneath.
10:58am – In my linen fort of trepidation I await the end. I try to relax with some music.
11:04am – Not long now. Wish I had a flask of that Amaretto Hot Chocolate.
11:08am – THUD! CRASH! RACKET! Oh God I think I just heard the door fly off the handles. This is it. I’m terrified.
11:09am – I close my eyes tight and hug my legs as all around me in the flat I hear banging, thudding, scraping, an awful din.
11:10am – There’s an appalling smell in the air. I’m not exactly sure what sulphur smells like, but if it’s anything like dank, stale rum then I think that I’m in the presence of evil right now…
11:11am – I feel like I’m seconds away. My End of the World Spotify playlist cuts out – the internet is down. This really is it. The Apocalypse.
11:12am – In the furore and fracas of my final moments I feel compelled to finish my letter to John.
John. I hope you’re OK. I hope you get this. I’m in the eye of the storm right now and I’m scared, John. I’m scared. You were right. You were right all along. Millions may have scoffed at your claims and doubted you but I did not – I could never doubt my best friend! I wish I was with you right now! I’m scared, John. I hope you have a nice life. Please love every minute of it because it is so precious. I love you.
11:15am – All is quiet. I daren’t open my eyes. Adrenalin is pumping through my body – I can’t tell if I’m hurt or not. I don’t think I am. Yet…?
11:17am – The silence is even worse than the crashing and banging. I just wish it would happen now. I’m ready.
11:19am – I am startled by the shrill opening notes of Call Me Maybe. My eyes open. Through my blurred vision I see my phone flashing bright. This is unexpected. I look at my phone. Katie has texted back again. “found my stapler lol. hahah ur m8 john must feel like a bit of a twit.” What on earth…?
11:20am – I slowly re-emerge from my cushiony castle under the kitchen table. I’m totally confused. The flat looks like it’s been absolutely trashed. Ransacked. The front door looks like it’s been kicked in, the DVD player is missing and there’s a goat trotting about in the hallway. Weird.
11:21am – I walk to the window and look outside. The rain has eased off and the traffic is whizzing around below as normal. I’m hyperventilating. I start to smile. I start to laugh. I’m cackling maniacally. I’m alive! I’m alive! I’m alive!
11:23am – After dancing around by myself, dancing around with the goat and attempting to dance with a very hungover and irritable Roddick, I sit in my living room with a cup of tea. Even though it wasn’t actually the end of the world, for a moment there I really believed that it was, and now I really appreciate how valuable life is and how little time we all have on the planet. I laugh gleefully at having a free afternoon, just me and the world, this beautiful planet. Me and Mother Nature.
11:24am – I put the Xbox on. But first, to finish my letter to John I Kentucky…
All that stuff about you being my best mate? Forget it. All of that build-up and NOTHING HAPPENED. You’re a fibbing sod, you John.