The 29th

Some say it was a chemical attack by terrorists that contaminated the water supply. The hellfire and brimstone religious nuts on television claimed that Satan’s trumpet had gone off marking the beginning of the end for mankind’s sinful existence then begged for some more money to build an ark or something stupid like that. The funniest one I heard was about alien radio signals and cosmic radiation bouncing off Venus and then a solar flare did something or another and it was the perfect storm to send the world into the spiral shitter. There’s other theories but I don’t subscribe to any single one. No one knows with certainty what happened and don’t let anyone tell you any different!

What matters is that too many loved ones were lost. Folks are still hurting about it these days.
Everyone’s just waiting for it to happen again. You can feel the tension hanging in the air like the stench of roadkill on the pavement during a heat wave. Kids can’t even be kids no more. You see what I mean when you hear a kid shouting down the street and half a dozen people come rushing out with shotguns and rifles. No one plays outside no more.

For me, it’s that nervous feeling when I see a car in the rearview mirror going a little too fast for comfort and my butthole puckers up thinking he’s coming directly for me and mine. That’s how my daddy died on The 29th, mind you.

Guy lost his shit behind the wheel of his F-150 in the middle of downtown and decided to turn the sidewalk into a fast lane. My daddy along with some other folks ending up painting his hood a new shade of red. After that, the son of a bitch played Chicken with a semi and lost. That’s what they told me, at least. Serves him right. Fuck’em.

When the F-150 plowed through the folks on the sidewalk, I was in Mr. Caliban’s Candy Emporium. Fearing a second pass, I hauled ass to my truck and found two boys fist fighting and a teenage girl laid out in the parking lot bleeding out the pavement. The boys looked rabid with saliva dripping down their chins and the crazy eyes. I wasn’t having no part of that. I’ll never forget that look the girl gave me as I drove past her and out of Dodge. Never found out who she was or what happened to her. Perhaps, that’s for the best.

These days my liver ain’t getting along with the pills the doctor gave me. They’re supposed to help me cope with that survivor’s guilt business that had me down for a while but I won’t be bothering with them no more. They make me feel funny like I ain’t me no more. I’m tired of the waiting. It’s exhausting, I’ll tell ya. Being nervous all the time that it’s gonna happen again.

Ain’t nothing we can do to stop it anyway.

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