This morning I woke up briefly and then fell back asleep.
I woke again in the early afternoon courtesy of a late night working on a ‘research’ paper. I ran some errands, taking my bike into the shop to get a power meter installed, shipped out some team jerseys to alumni, and headed to the library to print out my paper at the budget-busting price of $0.05 a page.
So, two hours ago I’m walking back from the library and I see a text message from Eran. He says he slid out on a pair of railroad ties (similar to my first crash a year and a half ago). I respond to the message with an empathetic “sucks bro,” and close my phone. Not a second later, a skateboarder comes around the bend in the negative-sloping sidewalk and attempts to negotiate it at warp speed. He wipes out in spectacular fashion, cursing at life, the universe and everything.
Not only that, but the skateboard is headed straight towards me.
So I do what any sane person would do; I perform an expert tuck and roll and get the fuck out of there. But, as I am heading home via a meandering route to make sure I’m not being tailed, I can tell something was wrong, very wrong. I can’t hear any birds chirping, see any squirrels dashing around collecting food for the upcoming winter, or even smell the faint odor of sewage that permeates the
city town city of Newark on humid days.
It is just like nature has disappeared indefinitely. I am lost as to what to do, where to go, or whom to annoy. It’s like the foundation has been ripped from under me, leaving a vast universe devoid of meaning and purpose.
“Is it the end of the world?” I ask aloud to no one in particular.
“Yes, yes it is,” replies a voice from behind me.
Startled, I turn my body around with the speed of a peregrine falcon and see before me some a guy who looks like a cross between Nicolas Cage and Robert Downey, Jr.
Worried that I was going to be asked for crack or money to pay off a debt that would make Greece look good, I take a tentative step backwards, asking, “who are you and what do you want?”
The man replies, “I’m John Cusack and believe it or not, I’m a famous actor. But that’s not why I’m here today. I’m here because in just under 2 weeks, events will conspire to end the world and we need your help. You are our only hope.”
“What do I have to do?” I ask.
Cusack pauses dramatically, holding eye contact with me just long enough to make it weird, and says “I’m going to need you to buy 2012 (the movie) because it didn’t do that well at the box office.” Before I get a chance to respond, Cusack is waving goodbye.