15th of June, 2046
The steady rumbling of the engine, a somber muffling of the radio DJ, my lap completely covered in curly brown Muffin hair, and the stench of diesel gasoline reminded me of the frequent summertime trips to Lake Janobi. The only distinct difference being that instead of a fair skinned, youthful brother to my left, it was an leather-skinned, elderly man I didn’t know too well instead. Though I missed my brother dearly, I did not miss his never-ending chatter.
I have found the absence of sound can be greatest comfort.
“Where are we heading?” I asked Cecil, the captain in command of this wayward trio.
“Unless you have any better ideas, we’re heading north to Canada. News reports indicate that the flooding isn’t half as bad there. Considering that Arizona will become Atlantis in a matter of days, I feel this is our only option.”
Regardless if he was he right or not, which I honestly felt he was, what say do I have in this matter? With my mother and brother slowly decomposing in my old home and my father assumed dead, where else am I to go? They’re all I’ve had for the past four years. Besides, at the rate things are progressing, or regressing depending on how you see it, I don’t expect humanities pulse will beat for that much longer. Cecil and I, and Muffin too I guess, had some sort of mutually understood but unspoken alliance to one another. This is my family now.
Considering that he was the last human companion I had left, I wanted to create a more trustworthy and cohesive bond with Cecil. I asked him questions and wanted to know what made him tick? What crossroad or intersection of life did we meet?
He seemed very hesitant at first., but much like the smallest snowball slowly trickling down the mountain side, he gained girth steadily. To my surprise he had never married nor has he felt he’s ever experienced true love. As a result, he never birthed offspring or kept in touch with relatives of any sort. He even noted that every pet he’s ever had has either run away or went on some demented hunger strike until they died of starvation (this was mainly the case for his fishes). Cecil seems to be an unintentional but natural repellent of all forms of life. I can’t help but wonder what it is about his personality that comforts me and why his demeanor is so welcoming and accommodating?
A particular point of his rant left an immediate stamp in my brain. I remember it word for word:
“I genuinely want to help people, and despite what it looks like I do like them, but no one seems to want to help themselves. It’s an overwhelming majority that seem to be content and comfortable existing in their smoggy, smuggy, selfish blindness. This is the largest generational divide in the history of our species. People are far too wrapped up in their own personal muses and obsessed with the gratification of their own egos. All there is to life anymore is to get what’s coming to you without consideration of others. Forget all you know about white picket fences, that’s this is the new American dream.”
The only thing fitting to follow this harsh but accurate commentary was silent introspection for, I assume, the next 35 miles. Neither of us spoke a word. I’m not even sure we blinked.
If this was indeed the first step towards mankind’s extinction, is it such a bad thing? Is this a product of our own ignorance?
I could see a reflection of sunlight jutting off the road up ahead. As we approached, I could tell is was the shimmering of a wall of water greeting us as we descended from the peak of Mount Cowen, just north of the border of Montana and Wyoming. Cecil showed no signs of slowing.
“Cecil! Look —“
He was too zoned out and I was too tardy. We were both sucker punched and made into rag dolls as the vehicle was submerging fast. I have never felt such a heightened sense of clarify and alertness.