Chaos Cometh—Elaine Bonow
It was one of those summer days in Seattle that makes you want to live here forever. A day when visitors to the Emerald City brag to their friends back home that they had visited paradise. This cloudless, rainless spell of eighty-degree days was in its fourth week. The normal cheerless population staggered in the unaccustomed warmth spreading rays of joy like terminally depressed inmates feeling the effects of too much Zanex.
Lounging in the deepening sunset three good friends sat discussing their conjoined future and how they are going to safe in this increasingly violent world.
“I’m glad we decided to have this talk about what we should do in case of a radical emergency, Ace.” Charly sat back against the leopard print butterfly chair, a full glass of Pinot Noir in her ring-bedecked fingers.
“Well, I have been thinking all spring that because of all the mayhem going on, I want to have at least one place to feel absolutely safe, especially after Boston. That shit was sick and twisted.”
The three friends always hung out at Ace’s house. Charlene AKA Charly actually lived across the street in this well-heeled Seattle Capitol Hill neighborhood.
“You’re right, you know. A whole city locked down. I can see that happening again.”
“Oh girl, he’s just been watching all of those episodes of Survivalists on the National Geo channel all year.” Bradley ignored the wine and continued to light up his arty glass pipe full of his latest bud acquisition, Grapefruit Haze.
“Shit, Rabbit, I watched that show cause I want to have what the extremists have or at least some of what they have. They aren’t stupid people, a little off perhaps but you have to admit they are fully prepared, buddy.” Ace has known Bradley or Rabbit as everyone has called him, since they were kids living up in the north end.
“Well, the whole world is going to hell in a hand basket as far as I can see. We’ve already had two really huge mass murders here in Seattle in the past five years. Remember all those kids killed up here on the hill and we thought that was awful at the time.” Charly sat forward in the low chair to reach the pipe offered by Rabbit.
“You’re right girl. And then those poor people at the Café Racer. Boom. Just blown away in a few seconds.”
Charly tried to pass the pipe to Ace but he waved it on back to Rabbit. “I realize nothing could have helped those poor souls but…” He sat back and drank some of the deep red wine.
“Yes, yes mon frère, but those episodes are just the results of an overpopulated world and is Karmic balance.” Rabbit adjusted his full lotus allowing the gang a glance at his hairless balls peeking out from the gold loin cloth he had picked up on his last trip to India.
“I’m certainly not going to worry about all of the chaos in the universe. We’ve just got to live perfect lives and nothing can harm us. That is my very sane, balanced and serene opinion.” Rabbit rolled like a ball, still in lotus position, across the perfect lush green lawn,
Ace and Charly had to crack up. “Man you are so f’in Pollyanna sometimes. You are too funny. Life to you is just groovy. You are never serious.” Ace pulled his knees up to his chin, the wrinkles around his eyes and the deep furrows on his forehead made him look very serious.
Charly closed her eyes and smiled at the earnestness of Ace’s convictions. As long as she had known him he had been the leader of the pack. She moved into the house across the street at his insistence. They had been friends since high school. Ace was her first husband’s best friend. Ace had seen her through both of her marriages, the birth of her daughter Chenille and had been doula at the birth of her son, Livingston. She trusted him more than her family and more than any of her friends.
“But I don’t think any thing we can do here can stop some random violence from happening to any of us,” as she gestured with her right arm pointing to the sky wrist full of sentimental bangles shaking in fine tune.
Rabbit attentive in perfect lotus shook his head in disagreement. “You are right Charlene. We can’t protect ourselves form the chaos of the universe we just have to be mindful of our own space in the universe and not try to change the consequences of our lives on the planet this time around.” He closed his eyes and pursed his lips into the sound of OM.
“Listen guys. I know we can’t stop shit from happening but we should have some secure plans in place in case of disasters, like volcanoes and tsunamis.”
“Or a police lock down like the Popo did to Boston. I mean that was weird. I can really see that happening more and more in the future.” Charly checked her phone.
“Right Charly, we are getting closer and closer to a police state so I vote to set up a shelter for ourselves. We can do it here at my house.”
“I’m just going to do whatever you two want to do. Going with the flow, babies. I guess I’d start stockpiling weed for myself. Where are we going to put everything?” Rabbit unfolded himself and stood up to stretch his knees. He was still in great shape almost thirty-five years since he was the star quarterback in high school. His leanness was a result of his Spartan Vegan diet and no alcohol.
“I can be the disaster chef. Maybe I could get a new job as official bunker chef to the stars, you know planning underground meals for celebrity survivalists.”
“That’s pretty funny Rabbit.” Charly laughed so hard her wine sloshed and spilled on her white peasant blouse.
“You laugh now guys but I think we should all agree to my plan. Seriously, Charly it will be you and Livingston, your girl and the baby. Rabbit, you of course since you live here already. If I have a girlfriend she can stay.”
Ace started pacing the patio stopping long enough to open another bottle of Pinot Noir and top up his and Charly’s glasses. “Let’s see I made a list. We’ll commandeer the basement rec room. I’ve already figured out how to secure the house. We’ll just need to start stockpiling supplies: water, food, fuel and guns.”
“Whoa, what do you mean guns?” Charly said loudly getting Rabbit’s attention.
“We have to be able to protect ourselves from others. I don’t want other freaks trying to get into out bunker.”
“But hold on a sec, doesn’t that make us as dangerous as the threat we are trying to protect ourselves against? Rabbit pass me the pipe.”
“Yes, I do agree with you but we’d be fools and way too venerable. Tell you what. I’ll be responsible for any weaponry—swords, switchblades and Uzi’s. I won’t even let you know where I stash the guns and ammunition, OK?”
“I guess we should be glad you are our fearless leader Ace. I’ll go along with your plan. I do have to worry about my family and you are sorta like my daddy-husband-brother.”
Charly checked her phone again. “Livingston was supposed to call. He was supposed to be back from driving on his first solo trip from Northgate Mall.”
“Well, I’ll start creating some Doomsday cuisine recipes. Let’s see how I can re imagine MRE’s and Top Ramen.” Rabbit flipped himself into a perfectly poised headstand.”
“Thank god you guys are with me. We have to stick together like the Three Musketeers…”
Charly’s phone rang; she answered her voice a little slurred. “Livingston, where are you. You were supposed to be home by now.”
The speaker was on, “Mom, Mom, You’ll never guess what’s happened. Haven’t you heard the news? We were attacked in the mall. Oh, it was terrible. One minute we were all hanging out listening to this rapper and then we heard shots. This crazy gunman was going around shooting people. I thought I was going to die. We had to run for our lives. I was able to hide in a bathroom. Holy shit ma, the police stormed the place and shot the dude —dead. As soon as they sounded the all clear I got the hell out of there. I just got a chance to call you now. I’m fine. I’ll be home in ten minutes.”
Charly let the phone fall to the table tears streaming from her eyes. “Oh Ace, Rabbit, we’d better start stockpiling right away. Thank god we’re all safe, for now.”