I was in the minivan with my sister. The side door was propped open and my buddy Kevin was standing there looking up at the sky. His parents owned the little video store on main street where we had parked. My mom had gone inside to return some VHS cassettes.
There was an eerie calm in the heavens. I remember that it was a bit overcast. We were waiting. Waiting for the end. It was due at any moment. While our parents were going about normal daily affairs like manning the video store or returning overdue movies, we were poised for apocalypse.
Not sure how the news got to us. But we even knew the exact time on the clock. As we pensively scanned the horizons of the small town landscape, a sleepy North Georgia village minding its own business beneath a sky doomed to explode at any moment, I kept glancing at my little Casio wristwatch. The digital ticking of the seconds marched without hesitation into the approaching conclusion of all things.
When the sky refused to collapse and burst on time, we did not let out the sigh of relief. Though barely teenagers, we knew that calendrical dating and time-keeping can be a bit off—and maybe my Casio was a bit fast.
But after several minutes, we gradually began swallowing the reality that perhaps someone had given us bad info. Like when some kid flips the fire alarm in the school hallway after a bathroom break, sending everyone out to the playground for a non-existent catastrophe.
Kevin and I were relieved. But a bit disappointed. Disappointed that normal, everyday life just kept going on. There was no hiccup in the pace of life around us on main street—the cars kept driving past the minivan; customers entered and exited the video store; our few stop lights kept doing their job. We both wanted to live, of course. But we also wanted to see something, something… well, awesome. Something extraordinary. We wanted to be there on the cusp of the end and ride out the globe as it made its final spin.
But my mom came back to the minivan to drive my sister and me back home. Kevin went back into the store.
Then I guess I finished my homework.
At least the scheduled end of the world in 2011 will happen over a weekend. Not as much homework to do… in case nothing happens.