Last night, I started my sixth dystopian/post-apocalyptic novel. I used to read books like this as a kid, maybe not as gruesome and terrifying, but I was really into science fiction and the supernatural. I don’t know why I have a strange obsession for the post-apocalyptic world. I’m happier than I’ve been in decades. I was a pretty happy kid, too. And I’m relatively healthy if you overlook all the skin cancer spots on my face. (Stupid sun. Never much cared for the sun.)
So, why am I obsessed with the end of the world? Why do books about nuclear warfare; viruses that take out entire continents; deranged killers left behind after most all of the good people perish; why am I interested in reading darkly comical tales about an infinite library, a book that is frankly so bizarre, captivating and weird, I can’t possibly sum it up for anyone—why does all of this appeal to me when we’re facing some pretty dystopian shit head-on?
What’s taking place around me on a political front is downright terrifying on its own. And this shit is REAL. Our current administration is waging war against women. I mean, I can’t even comment and/or write about that. And he actually IS going to build a wall separating the U.S. from Mexico. An expensive wall that will do JACK SHIT to curb illegal immigration. But he said he’d do it! And, by golly, his supporters are holding him to that promise! And as it turns out? We ARE actually going to be paying for it. A fucking wall, y’all. Quite possibly the most useless BUT expensive wall ever erected.
This isn’t make-believe. This is real life. And it’d actually be muy cómico if it weren’t so damn loco.
So, yeah. All of this information has been entering my brain and before I can make any sense of it, it’s forming one MASSIVE pileup, like one of those colossal car wrecks that take place along major highways during an ice storm. One car can’t stop, it starts sliding, then it hits another car and that car can’t stop and before you know it every single car, truck and van on that particular roadway turns into one magnificent ball of crunched up metal.
In just one week’s time, all the headlines, the Facebook posts, the Tweets, the NPR blips and bleeps, they’ve all piled up. Holy wreckage point. I can’t keep them all separate right now. It’s one of the worst car wrecks in the history of my brain.
So, I am running away from it. I can’t even rubberneck anymore.
One might assume I would want to read about flowers, or bread, maybe even something about birds, maybe pick up a couple of cute comic books, you know, something simple and concrete and not at all upsetting.
Nope. I am diving right into dystopian literature. Just like I used to do as a child. It’s good to be back here. I have missed this child.
Why am I sharing this with you? I don’t know. I don’t know why. Maybe I want more literature suggestions? Maybe I want to start a post-apocalyptic bookclub?
Maybe I’m trying to escape the fire by running straight through it.