A Sweet Relief on Sugar Hill in Harlem
My friend Skully thinks the world is going to end in 2012.I’m not sure why he picked that date but it seems to be a popular meeting point for prophesies.I don’t know why he so gleefully looks forward to it since he will be the first to hit the fan and just as he is untangling himself from the spinning blades the wall of shit will arrive forcing him forward into the melee.Not to worry he cheerfully explains,” you all will be in hot pursuit.”
It was suggested,by him that I make a timetable,a series of catastrophes that will take place over the next few years that will suck us all into the spinning blades
The year is spring 2007, and there is a rumor spreading around that bees are unable to find their way back to the hive.I know bees have a political system, that like ours, is highly undemocratic.The workers do all the work which includes guarding the door looking after the brood and collecting nectar and pollen.The drones lie around giving out orders and screwing the queen.The queen lays the eggs. A coup d’État would seem probable,but scientists think the problem is due to cell phones.Either way, if the worker bees have decided to become slackers like the drones or cell phone radiation is interfering with their navigation system,it looks like the problem may persist for some time. That means a severe shortage of fruit and other foods.It is up to us to boycott the use of these devises.Anyone seen using a cell phone is immediately subject to a torrent of well deserved abuse.Cell phone stores are blockaded.The Weather Underground reorganize and they carry out a campaign of bombings, which are both successful and free of human casualties.
In 2008 the bird flu virus finally mutates so that it is now able to transfer from human to human and all hell breaks loose.Most travel ends and import and export is severely restricted.The world economy starts to unravel and markets begin to plunge.The Bush/Cheney twins become Cheney/Bush and all future elections are postponed indefinitely.Fema Internment Camps already under construction are filled with dissidents.
By 2009 the population has been reduced by 1.5 billion and the flu has run it’s course.However taking advantage of a weakened dictatorship in Saudi Arabia, Osama Bin Laden and fellow Saudi members of al-Qaida seize control.The oil fields are regulated by an Islamic group that has cut off oil supplies from the West. Cheney brings back the draft. All those that are unemployed, are seized by a press gang and shipped off to the Persian Gulf to fight for our god given right to burn oil.
By 2010,Bin Laden is once again using American and British armaments,sold to the Wahhabi-Saudi dictatorship, to slaughter thousands of American and British troops. Tony Blair has declared himself the new King of England and is living in Buckingham Palace with a young girl who goes by the name of Cherry Pop.His wife and the Queen have been disappeared and Prince Charles has been shipped off to Gitmo.Keith Richards and Iggy Pop are living at 10 Downing Street and they both look, like they’re on crystal meth.
In the summer of 2010 when things look like they could not get any worse,global warming starts to kick in.There is a massive hurricane in Long Island where Skully lives and he starts heading for the fan.He survived the bird flu but he has lost his vinyl sided house, along with all the plastic picket fencing as well as the Blue Persian poppy seeds that I sent him that he never bothered to plant.Everything is floating out there.There is literally nothing left except waves of water logged garbage and a nuclear power plant.
Skully has managed to scale the containment walls of the plant and has fixed a makeshift platform to the side and he spends the day fishing in a sea of putrid trash.He keeps a supply of old bottles and bricks on the platform and uses then to throw at people who try to take over his parapet.By the time winter arrives he has managed to build himself quite a nifty little fortress and as luck would have it, succeeded in grabbing a crate of rocket launchers as it is floating by along with a case of shells.
It turns out to be a very mild winter and spring 2011 starts in February.There are so many tornadoes that it is not even reported by Fox News the one news station left. What is reported however is a massive earthquake in California and nobody can find Arnold.But people don’t even care,since there is not much left to govern,most of the state is at the bottom of the Pacific.
Just as things are looking up for Skully,on July 4th, there is a meltdown at the power plant.Luckily he has gone clamming in a boat that he had recently found one morning,entangled in some garbage right under his fortress.He is able to escape the first explosions but he is badly irradiated.He manages to steer the boat up the Hudson,but makes the wrong turn and starts up the East River where all the yuppies from Williamsburg live.As he approaches the bridge a torrent of flaming trash is hurled at him.Luckily he manages to turn the boat around and he heads back around by Pier 6,which is now under water.He sails up the Hudson.
It is a wonderful sight to behold as he floats up river with the tide,but he dare not get too close to the shore in case someone tries to seize his boat.He passes by 42nd st and wonders what happened to the Intrepid.The whole of 12 ave is under water and he sees children swimming around in the fetid water.Further up by the boat basin at 72nd st he notices armored vehicles up on the West side Highway,and the Intrepid lying on it’s side in what was once Riverside Park.One of the armored personnel carriers take a few shots at him so he lobs a missile in their direction,he misses but the rest of them scatter.On up the river he heads,Riverside Park is completely under water and there are bags of garbage floating everywhere.
Soon he arrives at the sewage treatment plant at 145th street where he takes a risk and pulls up his boat.There are no people around,so he disembarks and wanders along the top of the plant where the remains of a park are.He slowly crosses a bridge,feeling week and very sick.He heads up 145th street.The whole place is deserted,There are no cars anywhere except a few burned out armored police vehicles.As he crosses Broadway he sees someone playing a sax outside Copelands.He pauses when he sees Skully approach.They stand and look at each other for a moment.Then,as if they both acknowledge that there is nothing much to say he continues his rhapsody.Skully looks around bewildered.The musician stops again.
“There was an outbreak of TB and they came and took everyone away”
Skully walks across the road and continues up the hill to Amsterdam,as he turns the corner he sees an open store.It is Mishkin’s pharmacy and a Chinese woman and an African American are inside, searching through shelves of drugs.There is a broken box lying on the ground outside,even in his condition he is vigilant.He can easily read the labels on the bottles lying on their sides,Potassium Iodide.He picks up one of the bottles.He reads the small red letters.”Treatment for Radiation Sickness.”
“Just what the doctor ordered”.
Skully looks up.The African American is standing at the door signaling for him to take a drink.He opens the bottle and takes a sip.It is salty with such a painfully disgusting taste that he spits it out.
“Most people would rather die than drink that stuff”
Skully looks at him defiantly and takes a huge swig, gulping down 2 huge mouthfuls. Suddenly, he lurches forward and heaves a projectile of yellow liquid vomit,he sinks to his knees and moans.He hears voices and as he looks over, the man appears at the door with a cup.Behind him the Chinese lady is staring at him on the ground.He takes the cup from the man and drinks and is pleasantly surprised by the sweet clean taste.He lays back on the ground but instead of a hard surface, everything feels soft and warm.He drifts and floats,sinking below the surface of the sidewalk into what feels like feather cushions.A sweet smell of flowers fills his nostrils.A fantastic ethereal sensation of flight as he is expelled from his body, sends him soaring into the air like a rocket.He looks down at his body lying in a heap on the ground.The couple standing at the door look up and wave to him.He wants to wave back but he realises that he can’t.He feels himself fading and slipping away into a tiny pregnant dot, smaller and smaller spinning from a proton to a particle,to an electromagnetic charge,a vibrating strand of energy,oscillating in eleven dimensions, 3 quarks for Muster Mark, decaying beyond the singularity ,nothing,no dimensions,no space,no time, no light, no darkness.No more Skully.