By Rick DeMarinis

Regardless of the world's insecurities, the commonest drama of all isn't of apocalypse now, yet of apocalypse deferred; the soreness of dwelling is having to attend it out. In Apocalypse Then, DeMarinis's characters try out alcohol, they struggle commute, and (most of all) they fight off-limits love. They locate themselves in harm's means, or positioned themselves there--but in existence, because the identify tale states, "sometimes the worst doesn't happen."

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Extra resources for Apocalypse Then: Stories

Example text

And I couldn’t disagree with her but I could ask for the most basic of comforts, couldn’t I? ” “Fine,” she said, then stood and walked back to a linen closet, grabbed a white blanket, and handed it to me. “If you need anything else—” I didn’t wait around for the end of her sentence. It was more like the world’s largest coffee filter. Jesus, had health care finally come to this? Everybody was uninsured and unblanketed. ” He looked so small and pale lying in that hospital bed. How had that change happened?

My wife paused before answering, and in that pause I heard all her doubt and fear. So I got out of bed, dressed, and left the house. I decided to drive to see a hot new independent film—a gory war flick that pretended to be antiwar—but first stepped into a mini-mart to buy candy I could smuggle into the theater. How is it that black men can make a word like motherfucker sound jovial? I suppose I’d always been the kind of nonblack person who celebrated himself for not being uncomfortable around blacks.

What if they recognized me? What if they attacked me? Nothing happened, of course. Nothing ever really happens, you know. Life is infinitesimal and incremental and inconsequential. I paid for my candy bar, walked out to my car, and drove toward the movie theater. All of them stared me down and walked as slowly as possible through the crosswalk. I’d lived in this neighborhood for years and I’d often had this same encounter with young black men. It was some remnant of the warrior culture, I suppose.

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