Just as she was leaving the apartment, I took my chance and kissed her. She seemed surprised, but not disgusted. I was really happy that she wasn’t disgusted. She was flustered though, and her only response was “Oh…” I never saw her again after that. She mailed me and said that I was too reliable to be around. This made no sense to me, but I was used to this sort of nonsense. I saved the letter, though. I thought that I could use it later.
The news was calling it one of the greatest disasters in civilized history. All of Houston, Texas had been burned and quarantined. At first they tried to put some sort of spin on it and play down the severity, but eventually the truth came out. There was some horrible accident and the only way to contain it was to burn every living thing. It sounded like science fiction, but it had really happened- a modern American city had been razed to contain a virus from space.
I made eggs and watched an old episode of the Sopranos. I heard a siren outside and it shook me up, but it was just a tornado test siren. On the Sopranos, Meadow was upset because another boyfriend had left her.
After the hijinks of the last girl, I’ve decided to avoid them completely this year. I could do without the headaches. In the meantime, I’ve decided to work on my novel. It’s all about a cop and his slow slide into mediocrity. I think that if I put my mind to it, I can knock this thing out this year. I just have to get started.
The news keeps going on about containment. The government and NASA are constantly assuring us that they were able to keep the virus in Houston, but the media won’t let it go. They keep reporting on incidents way outside of Houston, but they never confirm anything.
I’ve lost twenty pounds. I cut out the sodas and the sweets and cut back on the bread, and now I’m twenty pounds lighter. Usually I only eat when I’m stressed anyway but now that I’ve cut back on the women my stress level is really low.
“Remember Houston” is repeated everywhere on the news. Today at noon we are all supposed to take a moment to reflect on the events and remember the millions that died. I try to, but my mind drifts to the fact that I’m broke. That’s what I think about silently at noon- my lack of savings and my growing debt.
I spot the crazy girl at the bookstore. She doesn’t notice me, so I leave before she does. I feel bad about what went down between us. I really liked her. I wish she hadn’t been insane. I want to but magazines, but I don’t want to risk her seeing me and starting up a conversation. That’s the thing about girls- they try to talk to you as if nothing bad ever happened between you. And the entire time, I‘m staring at them with my mouth open and thinking… Hey! You remember that you screwed me over, right? It’s not worth it, though. I don’t really need magazines.
More Sopranos, more day job, more women stress, more debt. It’s a vicious rut. Perhaps I’ve made a mistake.
I called to ask my landlord if he’d take half of the rent until next week. He agreed. I took a cab out to the office and dropped the payment off in the box. There were people across the street holding up signs. They were anti-abortion I think.
I really don’t like being confronted by pictures of dead babies this early in the morning.
The rut continues. I don’t leave the apartment for an entire weekend. I figure that I have to sink so much money into this thing that it doesn’t make any sense to be away from it any longer than I have to.
I get a letter taped to my door threatening eviction. It seems that the landlord changed his mind about waiting 3 days for the rest of the rent. I have to ask my big brother for it, which I hate to do. He has it and he’ll offer it gladly, but every loan from him is proof that I have not done things the right way.
Despite the fact that I have no money, no love life, and no real plan to fix either, I’m happy. People all over the world are still in mourning for those in Houston but the unspoken consensus is better them than us. Perhaps things will change now. I have noticed that people are nicer to each other since the tragedy. I have noticed people making eye contact on the street. For awhile my attitude was that the tragedy was bad, but it didn’t change the fact that I was broke. Now I feel that being in the hole is still better than being burned to death because of a space virus infection. It’s all about perspective, I guess.
All of the channels were reporting it. The True Companion had crashed to Earth somewhere in the Australian outback. NASA wouldn’t confirm or deny that the ship was the source of the Houston outbreak, but the news seemed to believe that it was. No news crews were allowed access to the area, but they were reporting major military involvement. The news also said that a source had reported that the ship had crashed into a middle school.
When I got home from work today, my electricity was out. There was a note on the door where they had come by for payment. Who is at home at two in the afternoon? Now, I have to pay with a credit card if I want the power to return tonight. I decide to just wait in the dark for the world to end.