The world isn’t really going to end this year. We all know that… or we at least fervently try to believe it won’t because any other outcome seems unfathomably horrifying. Still, it’s almost fun to entertain the idea from time to time, and with our calendars bearing that dreaded year, what better time than now to talk the subject to hell, beating the rotten remains of all four fabled horses? Lord knows I attempt to wax poetic on the subject often enough.
I guess I don’t remember exactly how old I was when I first started to fathom the end of the world, maybe 6 or 7, but I remember the moment vividly. It was summertime and I was standing in the grass outside of the apartment building I lived in, watching the birds pass time and again overhead, below the sun. We must have been learning about the universe and the planets in school because I spent a lot of that day just sitting there in the grass, thinking about the sun; where it went – how the moon followed it, always, never able to catch up. About how our world could fit inside its circumference countless times over. How if it were any closer, we would all burn and if any farther, we’d freeze. I knew the sun was old, and I knew that stars, like our sun, die. At this point, a couple of kids came by to ask what I was doing, and would I please move my creepy little ass out of the way of their kick-ball game? I mentioned the sun, and how long it had left to live. One of them came back, very matter-of-factly, with “2012. The sun will die in 2012 and that will be the end of the world”. An answer I was strangely satisfied with, mostly because it felt at the time like that day would never come. “Maybe I’ll already be dead by then?” I thought. Clearly, I’ve always had a bit of a macabre sense about me, even back in my Madonna worshiping stage.
I still think about it a lot. I dream about it a lot, too. In fact, I’d say a good 75% of my dreams are apocalyptic in nature and have been since… well, a long-ass time, I guess. I don’t even consider them nightmares at this point as they seem to occur with such regularity. I’m just accepting that I’m obsessed and downright batty with the idea of the world ending. It’s good to know that I’m not alone in this, though. How many doomsday prophecies over the history of mankind have been touted? In manifestations ranging from meteors to prophetic chickens to, and this is my greatest fear (granted, outlandish and unfounded… I hope) – a worldwide extraterrestrial takeover.
The world as we know it is bound to end someday – whether or not it will happen in our lifetime is for the most part of course, unforeseeable. What I find most interesting is the prospect that it could possibly be in correlation with some of the Catholic teachings I was brought up with. I consider myself Agnostic only in that I really can’t say with 100% certainty that I don’t believe in some sort of higher power, though my own education and common sense has me staunchly opposed to Christian theology as a whole. I think this fact alone may be what keeps me so curious; that I could be proven so wrong, and all that I had refused to believe in was materializing in a most terrifying way. Bellowing, deafening trumpets sound at all corners of the earth and then the sky breaks open… hell, even just mentioning this as a possibility has me questioning my sanity.
I don’t know that humankind will ever stop being fascinated by the prospect of the End of Days. Whether it be by the hammer-like fist of a vengeful God or by our own sinewy hands – through extraterrestrial overlords come to make slaves of us all or a demonic plague spilling upwards from the bowels of Hell. After 12/21/12 comes and goes, we’ll sit at our tables eating dinner or drift to sleep in our beds and conjure the next manifestation of the apocalypse. In that, I’m looking forward to what we come up with.