I watched Seeking a Friend for the End of the World recently, and enjoyed it. It’s funny and quirky and sad and sort of all over the place tone-wise. I suppose that makes sense considering the subject is the apocalypse, and among the people you know (and don’t know), their reactions would also be sort of all over the place.
So as hacky an entry point into an article as this is, and considering the territory itself isn’t all that groundbreaking to begin with, I fully recognize that I’ve turned this webpage into a sentient cliché. That notwithstanding, this has still been on my mind, and since it’s my blog and you clicked here of your own free will, let’s talk about it. Feel free to chime in down in the comments with your own thoughts/plans/fears about the end of the world. Here are mine.
When faced with no future, as the apocalypse forebodes, you immediately both have to look inward and behind. And I suppose it’s there that I feel immediate relief. I have neither any overwhelming need to make sense of (or even to begin to search for) the meaning of life. Life is the meaning, and it’s not like M. Night Shyamalan is writing your life waiting for some ultimate twist to reveal itself to you that pulls it all together. That simply doesn’t exist, and the fact that I don’t feel the need to chase after it gives me great satisfaction.
In terms of looking back, the other relief I feel is that I have no gnawing regrets plaguing me, that only become magnified when the hot light of having no time left on the clock stares you in the face. I have minor ones, sure. Why didn’t I participate in the campus TV station and try writing some comedy sketches? Why did it take me until 17 to be less timid with girls? Why did it take so goddamn long for my palate to open up preventing me from eating shitty food for nearly 30 years of my life? They’re there, but for the most part, I’ve already internalized those and done my best to learn from them and be a better person.
So that leaves your remaining days and how to spend your scant time left on this mortal coil. And mostly this is a question of logistics. If the world descends into chaos, which seems likely, and the infrastructure crumbles, which is also likely, your options become extremely limited. Airports are fucking done, so exotic travel is out of the question. Plus, you lose so much in transit, that seems like a fool’s errand anyway. I’m not opposed to a road trip, but being in my car doesn’t seem like the way to spend my last moments. I’d end up honking at some old lady who isn’t driving fast enough and then be wracked with guilt for my remaining hours. Fuck that.
So what to do? There’s a certain part in all of us that likes to think we’d enjoy the boozy, druggy, carefree sex bacchanal portrayed near the beginning of Seeking a Friend… but I know I’m not that guy, no matter how funny Patton Oswalt was in that role. I’ve done plenty of partying in my time, and more importantly, I’d REALLY rather not spend any of my last days on earth all hungover and miserable. I don’t even like staying up late anymore, and I’m going to spend some of the most precious time ever experiencing a fucking heroin comedown? No thank you.
When it gets right down to it, I think I’d mostly just want to be with everyone who’s closest to me – basically Kristin and anyone else who’s available and wanting to hang out with us – make sure there’s plenty of beer and whiskey, listen to some tunes, and enjoy each other’s company until it’s time to shuffle off. The only major change for me would be not worrying about my weight loss anymore (No more counting points! Suck apocalypse, Weight Watchers!). Now I can eat these Triscuits, guilt free. Party!
And I suppose that’s the most reassuring thing about watching a movie like this. We’re always encouraged to live every day like it’s our last. And if I frame my life in terms of thinking what I’d do in my last days, I do.
It may not always be roses, but I think you work for it every day. I travel when I can, try to be open to new things that come my way, and mostly spend time with people I love whenever possible.
If the end were to come, and I sincerely hope that it doesn’t anytime soon, then you’re always welcome at my house. Of course, that’s true almost always anyway.