Yesterday I read on the National Public Radio (NPR) website that the world is coming to an end on May 21. Apparently there will be a huge earthquake starting on the West Coast (not out of the realm of possibility) but immediately afterwards occurring in each time zone (out of the realm of possibility). This quake will be “such as has never been in the history of the Earth,” says Kevin Brown, a buddy of the man responsible for the end-of-the-world calculations, which he’s found in “coded proofs” in the Bible. Only Christians who believe in the second coming of Jesus will fly to heaven. One hundred fifty-three days after the quakes the Earth as well as the entire universe will be destroyed. If anyone survives the tremors (not likely) he of she will be stuck doing a daily countdown from 153 to zero, which will come about the end of September.
The first questions this information raises are, how long have others known and
why didn’t anyone tell me? Where are your friends when you need them? Talk about being left completely out of the loop. The second obvious question is what to do between now and May 21. This question is very hard to answer. Upon hearing the news, I checked my calendar and I find that the appointments already scheduled contain both good and bad news. My husband and I can celebrate our 39th anniversary on May 18th. I have two dinner dates with friends planned before then, so it will be nice to have folks to commiserate with while enjoying friendship and a good meal. The bad news is that I have two hair appointments, one for color and one for a cut, one week too late, so I won’t be looking my best when this scenario plays itself out.
The same NPR newscast has stories of people who had quit their jobs to be with their families and who stopped saving for retirement. While I don’t for a minute really believe the Earth and the rest of the universe will be gone by early fall, the thought of having only a few days to live does challenge me to think about how I would spend the time. The problem is that when I try to speculate, nothing particular comes to mind. Would I just keep with my regular schedule of yoga, teaching English, writing, exercising and seeing a few friends as if nothing had changed? Would I buy something I always wanted and enjoy it for a short time, a very short time? Would I run around like crazy saying goodbye to everyone I’ve ever known who lives in the vicinity? Would I travel somewhere I’d never been? Or would I just curl up with a few good books and stay indoors? Unanswerable questions that, fortunately, I don’t have to answer. On my calendar I do have commitments on both May 21 and 22. I may as well not cancel them quite yet.