From my bench by the bike path I couldn’t see any sign of human life.
Sure, if I turned my head I could see the bike path itself, but at the moment the pavement stretching off in both directions was empty. If I looked straight ahead all I could see was a little bit of sand, and the huge expanse of the ocean and sky. The only sounds or smells on the air were those of the water. For the briefest of moments I could pretend that no other humans existed.
I was the last person on earth and it was finally peaceful.
Society created torment. Society gave me reasons to stress and people to worry about. Without society I had nothing – nothing but peace.
Expectations, longings, disappointments, goals didn’t so much disappear as cease to mean anything at all without anybody to support them.
My phone shattered the delusion with a short vibrate. I sighed as I looked down at the screen to see that it was a text from Sarah, a long time friend that lived on the street at my back. It was through her kitchen window that I had first discovered the bench on which I currently sat. The bench on which I often came to sit and, not clear my mind, but clear away humanity.
“You look lonely out there,” the text said, “want some company?”
Taking one slow breath of the ocean air and letting my eyes linger on the horizon for another brief moment, I stood, dusted off my pants, and shuffled back towards the company of my friend.
Listen to me read it here:https://www.dropbox.com/s/px8rl5b113aqo9f/BenchAtTheEndOfCivilization.mp3?dl=0