A call from the future to tell you the world’s ending
by Alexander Weidman
Baby, can you hear me calling from the future?
The skies are so pink here,
They’re bright like chemicals.
The wildfires, so big, so far North.
We’re all so scared now.
Do you remember that night you were leaving?
We were in my car and you were crying and I, for some reason,
Forgot to tell you that I loved you too.
Baby, how things could have been different.
Now, with a powerful sun overhead,
A powerful, powerful sun and a planet that’s dying
And a moment to spare,
All I can do is mumble back into some darkness, however many years ago,
Back to a time that believe it or not glows,
Back to a time that believe it or not
Is easier than now.
The past is so much easier to have lived than the future,
Despite the inevitability of having to live what’s coming,
The future that I’m calling from. What I’m saying is there always seems to be so much rest
In the past.
Just look darling, in your hand is a landline,
A spiral cord,
I’m not allowed to be doing this.
You’re watched from everywhere now, they hear everything, everything
Knows who you are. Anonymity, darling, dies very soon.
Did I mention how pink the sky can be?
Sometimes they’re so yellow.
Sickness, disease. For a second we almost forgot we were still human.
But the days got so hot the grid fried.
The days got so hot we never made it to nanotechnology,
To artificial consciousness, to psychedelically induced spiritual evolution, to armed revolution, to
running through the streets with our own guns.
Never to algorithmic overlords, mood simulators, smart houses, or designer babies.
The Internet stayed in a cloud, it never entered the bloodstream, we left it
In some hope for a different, more bizarre world.
There was so much we thought we’d have, and the closest we got was to some petty social
That was little more than a joke, for those of whom it wasn’t abject horror.
The heat came so fast,
But we still have metaphysics.
We still have beliefs.
We still have stories.
What will be wiped from the earth is anything but human, you see.
For example, I still think that if I could have told you that night you were in my car that I loved
you things would have been different.
The future of the world was hanging so precariously, so preciously, a single strand of some long
gone spider’s web, or
A thousand strands from a thousand spiders’ webs, and every single one necessary,
Every single one needed to keep the world from falling into the abyss,
Hanging just so that at that moment I couldn’t feel it,
I just felt my silence that was swallowing the air in that car on that fucking night.
Just think what could have been adverted?
It’s weird to think I know, but things get weirder.
Believe it or not the Amazon was burnt down for hamburgers.
India picked coal on a bribe.
We failed to interpret signals from space.
China fought a desert and lost.
The ocean swallowed cities we still lived in.
No one was engineering solutions.
Money was still being made.
America spasmed again and again and no one could figure out why.
Goddamnit what’s more believable? Or, why is our definition of what’s possible so limited.
Atheism’s just a severe lack of imagination, a desire to lack an imagination, or,
A total self-centering.
You’ll figure that out soon.
God they don’t even try to hide it. I can hear the clicking on the other end. They practically
whisper to you that they’re listening. We hear you, son. We know what you’re doing. What
you’re doing is wrong. They will not understand you. They cannot understand you. You speak,
practically, a different language. Space divorced from its corresponding time does not make
sense, we know that now, we have figured that out, why do you think you’ve missed everything
until right now? And what else is language other than a certain space at a certain time?
They’re listening to this call, but what does it matter now? I’m creating an ending, since no one
else seems to want to.
Lover, did I mention how pink the skies are? It has something to do with the chemical
composition of the atmosphere. We’ve really fucked it up in quite a beautiful way.
I’ll be damned if on a November night when it’s still so hot, looking out across the green hills
there isn’t something immensely beautiful in the soft pink sky, it looks
Like a different world.
Could that be it? Could that be it?
Could our ability to find beauty in so many abject places have doomed us?
War, so devastatingly beautiful.
Vast oil fields on fire, and the black smoke that billows for miles suggests nothing other than a
great mythic memory, a time when there was the earth and the heavens and judgment but nothing
The Earth turned toxic and the skies pink and we couldn’t help but watch.
There were once men in the desert who donned black goggles and stared into the flash of the
beginning of the end and they couldn’t, for the life of them, truthfully say there wasn’t beauty
there. World eaters.
Perhaps we have pasts that we don’t know about.
Great wars in secret, great heroic struggles, good and evil pitted against each other in the physics
of the universe,
Things we’d never recognize and we’ll never see.
Creation, swimming through our blood like the nano-bodies were supposed to.
I don’t blame us.
We were all waiting for the signs.
They were going to come sooner or later.
Those who kept producing oil were waiting for the signs,
Just waiting to cut and run to their bunkers.
Goodbye presidents and senators.
Goodbye blue skies.
Goodbye leafy greens.
Goodbye the breeze.
Goodbye cool water.
Goodbye heroes and villains.
In a way it’s a way of thinking that died.
It took the rush
Of the end to convince us to drop the dichotomy.
Good and bad, right and wrong, puzzle pieces for an individual ego. Judgment
Should be uncorrupted.
Finally real free love erupted.
Sex on a grand scale.
Believe it or not we still have sex. We’re finally almost human,
Which is to say we’ve finally almost accepted ourselves as animals.
It’s one of the last things that make us happy.
It came so late.
Are you hearing this, baby?
Can you hear me, lover?
Can you hear me calling from the future?
I know I don’t really need to tell you all this,
I’ve just been thinking about that night you were crying in my car, and
Thinking about how things could have been different.
That night I kept so quite, while there were only a few feet between us.
Yes, language is space at a certain time, and that few feet stayed so empty.
All I wanted to do was tell you I loved you too.
The dark night,
The streetlight orange,
Coming through the windshield as if to highlight
A world-level failure. A failure on a colossal scale. A small heartbreak.
And all I can do now is warn you of what you already know is coming.
The horror is baby I am the truth.
It’s me, the man going insane, the one who will tell you that you’re all right, you all know it, the
feeling, the anxiety, the panic, the cloudiness in your head, that is the revelation, you all are the
prophets, the separation, the hazing of the real, the confusion, you are right, you are animals and
your instincts are ticking, you are not wrong, that one thing you did, that was the tipping point, if
only you could have not done it, that one thing, that small failure, that forgotten thing, the one
thing that was needed, hundreds of them, hundred upon hundreds of forgotten things, hundreds
upon hundreds of thousands of things we’ve forgotten. We were forgetting all the time
The one thing that was needed.
Don’t worry, it gets easier to take the blame.
That is what they tell me to say.
I wish I could tell you about how lovely the skies are here,
How burnt pink,
If I could have told you
I loved you then
Maybe all this would have been avoided.
I’m talking about 1,000,000 years of peace!
I’m talking about a golden age of golden ages darling!
I’m talking about
What else am I supposed to think?
I am just a person
Who has to live my own life in my own little world.
What? Is someone going to tell me
There was a better reason for all this?
Alexander Weidman is 24 years old, lives in West Virginia, and works at a cooperative.