There you were. You were alone. The world had moved on, but you were still here.
You were still here.
The world was covered with ash. The laughter of children – your children – faded to nothing. All was still. All was quiet. The world left you behind.
Toys rusted and degraded. Households were soiled and rotten.
You remembered the softness of your wife’s hair, her smile, her laugh. These things were now silent and gone.
She was bones.
Your children were bones.
Those bones were buried long ago. Gone but not forgotten.
You are still flesh and blood. Your heart still beats in your chest. You hold life within you, but no real life.
All is still.
You walk outside. The moon and the stars still shine through the clouds. And the sky is always cloudy. The light above gives light but no warmth.
You find an empty bar. You find a nearly empty bottle of whiskey. You suck it down. You light a found cigarette. The tobacco is stale but still burns. You inhale. You exhale. The air tastes no different, no more meaningful.
The world moved on without you.
You hear a rustling in the trees outside. You feel things watching you. Perhaps they’re people. Perhaps they’re ghosts. It doesn’t matter. Because all that mattered once is now gone away.
There are cans of food and dried beans. These are in your bag. You eat, but nothing has any taste.
You drink, but the burn of alcohol is just a momentary sting before all feeling fades.
You smoke, but the air is already filled with smoke and carcinogens.
The world is not what it once was. There were sounds, there was life, there was something like normality, but normality is nothing but a memory. And life is a bitch.
And you almost had an epiphany. But it was gone.
It was gone.
Somewhere, on the other side of the world, the ocean still crashes against sand. Somewhere, there is rain and ice eroding the mountains. Somewhere, there is a cycle that goes on and on and on, and it will go on once you are long gone.
You are already long gone.
And you were gone before you even arrived.
And there is your epiphany, but it doesn’t matter.
There is no one left to hear your scream.