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The Apocalyp-tic-tea

The tea has been delightful. It’s a gray morning. I’m sitting on a chair. To the right, a coffee table. There is a pamphlet on the table. It’s a story by Edgar Allan Poe.  To the left is a flower pot no longer in use. On my writing desk is a blank page. I am going to write. I am going to write about the likelihood that our world will or will not come to an end.

But then something tells me that no one wants to read about the end of the world. Who really wants to talk about the Apocalypse? Who wants to ask whether it’s the coming and the passing of some form of darkness? Un-world the world from its hinges and cast it into an abyss. Are we in the last days or the first of the last days or the last hour of the first of the last days? No one really cares. Not even those who are saved. Especially those who are saved. They are already survivors even before the day of Judgment. They have already survived the destruction that is yet to come. In a sense they are in this world. But then they are also in the world that comes after. What are they?  Are they living or are they dead? Are they ghosts or are they sons of God?

As one of the unfaithful, my torment is a thought, a mournful thought. I am disconsolate. What unsettles me is the suspicion that we all will be unhinged on that Day. For the dead and the survivors–no matter the camp on which you stand–it will not be a funny thing for your world to be stuffed into the narrow crucible of God’s nightmare and then tossed into a bottomless pit. Even though there is promise of something wonderful after.

But what if the world has not even yet begun? What if the world has already ended? What if we all are survivors of something we cannot remember? What if we are ghosts from a lost time? What if the Apocalypse is not the end but a beginning that repeats itself or an ending that has refused to end?

The morning is still gray though it’s now a little cold. The title on the Poe pamphlet is “The Masque of the Red Death.”  The pot still has no flower in it. I still have not written a word. But then, the page was never really blank. It had to have being crowded with words dreaming and aching to be born.

Photo credit: Clipart ETC

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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