Above All Else

Waiting, waiting, waiting. Everyone was waiting for something. They didn’t know what it was but it felt ominous, foreboding.

In the meantime, they could rely on the television to tell them what to be afraid of at that particular moment.

“Be afraid of others.”

“Be afraid of a hidden monster stuck in the ripples of cardboard or on a piece of fruit — certainly on paper money and coins. It might be in the pizza or the box the pizza came in.”

“Don’t tip the pizza man with dirty coins. Be sure he’s wearing gloves and hasn’t ever sneezed. Be sure he didn’t dropped the box.”

“Don’t eat anything because everything could be contaminated.”

“You might as well shrivel up and die because the big bad monster was about to get you around some unknown corner anyway and why wait to die for it? Don’t let it get you — take your own — you are still in control.”

Ha ha, hee hee, ho ho!

“Stay in your room with your freshly scrubbed hands folded on your lap and don’t ever, ever, ever touch your face. Don’t even talk to people through the door. Those particles are small enough to get through wood or metal — nano, quantum particles that a porous mask can stop and they can change at the CDC’s discretion. They’re in the air, they’re everywhere.”

“Be sure to sit in your room with your hands folded on your lap and be sure to have a mask on so you can appear respectful of others if nothing else when they come to put you in the camp or in the ground.”

The mask will surely save you — its magical. It’s a magical mask.

“Don’t love your loved ones. Certainly don’t love them by hugging. Put them in a room and keep everyone else away. Be sure to put a magical mask on them too and make sure their hands are newly scrubbed and folded on their lap. Heck, maybe you should put them out of harm’s way for good. That would be a loving thing to do. Save them from the monster and then save yourself.”

The fear of death is universal and profound and equally distributed — though some are able to go about their business with their head in a cloud. Some use drugs to help them. Some use food. Some use risk. Some use TicTok. Some just live to be afraid — somehow it makes them happy.

Ticktock the clock is moving ever faster to the end — why put it off? It’s nearly beat you down. It won’t go away until the last day so why not make the last day today? Get it over. What’s the point of waiting for the monster?

“Be sure to sit in your room alone with your hands folded on your lap. The end is surely near.”

“Above all else, be sure to do what you are told.”


Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay