The Common Denominator


  For us – the survivors of what can only be described as the apocalypse – there was countless questions, but two dominated our campfire conversations. The first was obvious; what was the flash? It was a question we knew would go forever without an answer but that didn’t stop us asking it.

  The second was far less simple – or at least felt more complicated -; why us? Why had the four of us been spared the deadly purge? For weeks and weeks we asked the question, we compiled lists of our similarities, our shared habits and vices, cross referenced facts that stretched as far as to encompass inane trivialities such as favourite colour in a desperate attempt  to tie us together somehow. Our theories were endless. Were we the great or the ghastly? Were we to rebuild the human race, to start afresh with a wiped-clean slate? Or were we such intrinsically bad people that some deity had decided to leave us to rot on the dying earth as the rest of our kin were whisked away to some far away haven? Perhaps, Sarah had guessed, a million separate realities were created in a massive, earth-shattering crack in the space/time continuum and only a handful of people peopled these alternate dimensions. We all liked that one, actually. At least it didn’t damn us irreversibly. 

   Conversation was an amazing fix-all it seems. I guess in a world with so few companions you don’t take anything for granted. We found out a lot about each other on our journey, what we liked and disliked, what we had in common and what we disagreed about. Scott, for instance, was a giant comic book nerd, though he would say avid fan. We chatted about the death of Captain America and the awful Spider-Man 3 movie. It was the humble beginning for our friendship, spurred by straw clutching hypothesis, but whatever works, right? Sarah was a vegan but somehow made up for that with a sweet personality and an interest in origami.

  It was only Katy Perry, who knew nothing about who she was pre-flash, that found things difficult. The group dynamic was alien to her, as was loneliness, as was pretty much everything. Even now I think of her as integral to it all, a piece to some puzzle we don’t have the box for, one whose bigger picture we can’t see. Blind.

~ by Joseph Blame on April 2, 2011.

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