Saturday, January 1, 2000


As I write these words, Y2K dawns.

The whispered fears of terrorist attack are not now reality. A mushroom cloud isn't looming over San Francisco, New York City, Atlanta, and God knows how many other cities. Our President, Congress, the Supreme Court and Regis Philbin are not now dead. All of them. The Pentegon is not in flames.

This is not the calm before the hellstorm.

This is not a final answer to the poet's question: Yes, as a matter of fact, the world will end in a bang. An impossible bang that makes your ears bleed, stabs a knife in your heart and turns your brain to jelly.

This isn't a bitter, hellish interval of waiting, waiting, waiting.

This isn't the end.

The stable assurance of an electrical grid isn't now, already, a distant memory. Along with any hint of social order. This HP computer, my faithful electric servant, hasn't changed to a dead slab of plastic. Along with all of our other "smart" machines. All clocks don't read 12:00, 12:00, 12:00, in the fibrillation of a grim electronic seizure. Dull, red, blinking lights don't confront us everywhere. Blank screens don't stare back at us like the empty eye sockets of so many hollowed out skulls. No. Wrecked, flaming cars don't surround us. The mindless mob isn't panicking in the streets. The traffic lights aren't dead. The lines of communication aren't cut. The endless babel of words and images has not been stopped. The vast universal silence isn't closing in like a shroud of death.

I do not contemplate my own death. Or the deaths of millions and millions of others.

Yet I laugh, bitterly.

What isn't happening isn't happening. What can't be started cannot be stopped. As the ineluctable tsunami of chaos doesn't close in, in the moments before it doesn't engulf me, I know only one thing.

Somewhere, in the growing fear and chaos that isn't happening, the fucking consultants who hyped this Y2K shit aren't getting any work.

For that, at least, I am grateful.

No comments: