Signing Off

Years later he would be alone in his home, standing in front of the TV that’s on FOX NEWS, channel 37, basic cable provided by Comcast, watching the world end.

“Man, I sure could go for a cigarette,” Timothy would write on a scratch of paper on top of the wooden entertainment system that housed the sacred box of excitement and information – the television that notified viewers of their own death, during the final News Alert.

Competitant Timothy Edward Endfinder, Eddy as he grew up with, had stopped smoking. He didn’t really want a cigarette, but his body told him otherwise, he needed one. He went to his laptop that was connected wirelessly, usually. He poached free service from his neighbors when he could, but this day, the last day of existence, he got the message that no wireless networks were found in range. Fuck. He couldn’t write a last blog. He couldn’t get his last thoughts down on his laptop, his friend, his communication to the world. Instead, he had scratch paper and he had already used it to write his want for a cigarette. It was too late. He couldn’t go out now. Wouldn’t waste his last time on earth seeking out an addiction he had beaten years earlier.

When in college Eddy was a smoker, kind of. He bummed, he bought a pack when he went out. He didn’t really smoke because he thought he’d live a long life. He wasn’t sure, though he suspected, that the world would end this way, so soon. He didn’t suspect that he’d be alone. He wished he wasn’t. But he was and he wished he had a friend, at least a cigarette. When he bought a pack, nights he went out, Eddy had some left over, usually half a pack and they were his friends until they were gone. When he was alone, he could smoke and not be with anyone but himself and that would be OK. Then he quit. It wasn’t hard. He never wanted to smoke in the first place. Smoking was an addiction, became one, and addictions are a funny thing.

He went back to the television and watched Sheppard Smith, on his final broadcast, tell the world what to expect. “Gather,” Shep would say, “around those you love, tell them that you love them, be with them at this time, fellow Americans.” Eddy looked at the screen and told Shep, “I fucking hate you.” Shep had given him bad news before. Not like this. Before, FoxNews told the world that the United States was under attack. That was scary shit. It was September 11th and the U.S. feared the worse. Though nothing more happened after that day besides the scares. There were no more attacks. Then, FoxNews broadcasted the bombings. The United States attacked a nation not responsible. Eddy was angry about that one, but excited just the same. This was big. The U.S. was taking charge.

This was the time that Eddy was the general manager of his college radio station. He had work to do. He ran around the studio, watching the broadcast, but also trying to figure out which songs the station should play, not in relation to the war that had just begun, but what was hot, what he liked at the time. DJ’s were in the station, some watching the bombings broadcast, some not giving a shit. It was so far-a-fucking way. It didn’t matter to them, their lives. It didn’t affect them.

If affected Eddy. His step-dad was in the military. Eddy was vested. His step brothers might loose their dad. His mom, Eddy’s own mother, might loose her husband to combat. And that mattered to him. He had a station to run, so this was only in the back of his mind at the time. Not the front, where he was thinking about passing classes, running the station. Going out that night. For the bright, there’s light, there’s darkness also, virtues and vices. Deeper stronger than those weak and dull. So, Eddy opens another beer. He works on a buzz that he started four hours ago at happy hour. And it’s then the urge to smoke again goes away. There are more important issues to think about.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

How utterly fucking depressing. I just got back from one hour and two beers at a smokey bar and feel like I need to take a hot shower to purge not just my skin, but my whole essence. Where's the lung brush when you need a good scrub?

And about this war...turn it off. We need to focus our military resources on the crooked corporations of our homeland. Blow up the headquarters of any financial institution that is forging its own records. Begin an offensive on the insurgents of our social security system, and take all pollutors and put them in a tropical prison and make them wear parkas and mittens until they sweat themselves off this planet. That'll get them to appreciate global warming. Sent Shep too.

Grrrrrr