The end of the world

They say that the world will end tonight. No one believes it. We have gotten over prophecies, at least on the cosmic scale. We might throw our tarot cards or cast a few bones on occasion, but it is just for fun. Deep down we want to believe it and yet we don’t. I say we too casually. Me. I. I do not believe that the world will end tonight. But then, I am not saying that it will. My friends say that it will. Friends. Strangers. People that I casually know and have shared a secret, indefinable breath of intimacy with on occasion. We danced around a fire. We cried. We told the myth of community. Now that community says the world will end, but I think they don’t believe it. It is fun to say, to speculate, to imagine the world will end.  It is just a prophecy.
But, what if it wasn’t? What if the world really was ending tonight? The possibility gives us a chance to be just a little bit reckless, to act without consequence. I think that is a good release on occasion. We spend too much time living for the future, and yet not enough. The signals are too mixed, all I know is that I should feel guilty about something, one way or another. “You’re doing it wrong,” has become the slogan of my friends. Well, maybe I am, and maybe I’m not. Maybe every person is doing it just as right as they can, and who are we to judge from our dusty domes in the desert? I have been away too long.
They say that the world will end tonight. I feel like I am on the edge of the world, way over here in Istanbul. It’s an exotic place, almost unearthly. It is so big that I can’t even thread out a beginning of understanding. The physical place, the people, the food, the air, the history, the tradition, the folklore, the tales of travellers? Where am I supposed to begin? Nowhere. There isn’t a beginning when you are perched on the edge of the world, but it is a great place to watch for endings. The end. Shhh. It is creeping up in a cold black sky, grey clouds, and a twinkling blanket of snow. Did you know that it snows in Istanbul? I didn’t. I honestly expected nothing more than desert dustings. Where did this blanket come from? It must have dropped from a parting heaven, god saying goodbye, wrapping us up before lowering us into our grave. Everything twinkles so. Silver. Quiet. Muted.
In the darkness, already fallen at half past six, I hear children calling to each other. I don’t understand the language. It is okay, it isn’t necessary to understand the language of children. Their voices echo. I don’t remember hearing them on other nights. It must be the snow, drawing them out to play. To really play- not quiet games like hopscotch and football, but loud, vicious games of cold and hot. Oh, the snow. I sit inside, tucked away and warm. I haven’t ventured out into it, and by the time that I do it will have lost its purity. Dim, grey, filled with the mud of the world. Mud and fumes from cars turned into cold crystals. But here I am, for now, alone, surrounded by a muted white wonderland and dreaming of my future. Who knows, maybe the world will end today. I just can’t give it any reason to, because tomorrow will be sunnier, and sunnier, and summer will come, and years, and adventures. It’s time for me to leave the edge of the world, and get back into life. 

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