This weekend will be like any other. I usually wake up late (around 7:45 am) on Saturday morning, make pancakes for my family while listening to our favorite radio show, and then I clean up the entire mess by myself. But this Saturday will be a little bit different, because a 23-ton piece of space debris is expected to crash randomly onto the planet, and no one knows when or where.
After making pancakes and cleaning up the entire mess alone, our family usually takes a ride to the farmer’s market to get fancy coffees, a good loaf of bread, and a jar of expensive mustard or honey, but rarely both. This weekend, I will still go to the farmer’s market, but I will definitely be glancing upward to the sky, shielding my eyes from the sun, and looking around for anything large that looks like it might possibly crash into me.
After we go to the farmer’s market, I’ll probably go to the flea market. Normally, I walk around and peruse the racks, looking for vintage dresses or small pieces of furniture that might fit into our trunk that I need, but don’t really need. This weekend, I’ll also be looking for a giant piece of a flaming rocket ship that could potentially take out me and everyone around for several hundred acres. I’ll also be looking to see if I notice anyone else peering up at the sky, somewhat nervously.
Am I the only one who knows what could be coming for us all?
After the flea market, we sometimes go to the local plant store and then get ice cream from the place next door if the weather is warm. Do we live luxuriously on the weekends, or what? This time, as I peruse the plant stands, sniffing the various potted flowers and oohing and ahhing over the herbs, I will be wondering, is this my last trip to buy plants? Should I even buy any? As I lick the ice cream as it drips down the cone and onto my hand, and then lick my hand too, I will be wondering, “is this my final chocolate peanut butter cone?” and I’ll consider getting another.
On our way home, I’ll probably Google, “space debris” just to see if it’s landed, or if anyone has a better idea of when and where this weekend-ruining hunk of fucking feral garbage is going to land. What are the chances it will crash into my house, or my backyard, or on our car while we’re driving? Does my thinking about it happening lessen the chances of it happening? Because really, what are the chances that it will happen after I thought about it happening?
As the day goes on, I’ll probably forget about the impending doom hovering over all of our heads, playing a sort of sordid eenie meenie miney moe with the entire world’s population, and get lost in a book for a while. But don’t worry, while I’m making dinner, I’ll remember again, and physically flinch a little bit, as if I were an actor, auditioning how I might react to a mammoth fire bomb smashing into my kitchen.
As I clean up the entire meal and wash all the dishes alone, I will have a little talk with myself.
“Jessica,” I’ll begin, “it’s been a tough year. Say mega debris were to annihilate everything you know and love—would it be the worst thing ever?” I will talk myself into accepting my potential fate, and decide that it’s grounds for an extra luxurious dessert, even though I already ate ice cream today. I mean, it could be my last meal. So, a handful of chocolate-covered Oreos will be dipped into a warm bowl of Nutella and then marched, one after the other, into my mouth, until I feel slightly ill, and that’s how I’ll know I did it right.
I’ll take my child through his bedtime routine, trying to focus on him and his story about how dinosaurs are ticklish. Then, I will put the most into his willy nilly high-speed round of brain-hurting questions about where babies come from and when the world will stop being sick, but my mind will keep returning to whether or not, and when sweet relief will be rained down onto me. Then, I’ll feel guilty about the peace I anticipate at getting incinerated by a gigantic man-made hurdy gurdy.
I’ll tuck him into bed, thinking about how much I love him, and maybe I’ll even shed a tear at the idea that this might be the last time we’ll get to do this. Then, I’ll quickly shower, put on cozy, clean PJs, considering carefully the nighttime outfit I’d like to be burned alive in, and choosing the blue, soft pant set.
As my head hits the pillow, my brain already in dream mode, I’ll say some movie-inspired shit, like, “I’m ready for you, big guy.”
The next day, I’ll wake up and toast bagels, which we do every Sunday morning.