Flash in the Pan
A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights
The End Of The World As I Know It
by Jack Mcdaniel
It wasn't always like this — slivers of silence amongst the warbling and cacophony. But invasions are like that, aren't they. Sometimes they are blindingly sudden, so brusque and immediate. So devastating. And other times, like now, they come so slowly, so deliberately, they feel seamless, integrated, unthreatening. No matter how foreign, how alien, they blend into the fabric of days like natural occurrences, their disruptions a matter of fact instead of an overwhelming force, an occasional calm before ... what?
Here you are — ankle-high winter boot-slippers on a hot summer day, with short-shorts and a too-tight t-shirt, newfound breasts just chomping at the bit to bust free of their cotton confines and grow. And that hair.
I knew you were a curious child, but when did you become this bird that never stops chirping? Are you saying something in all of that energy and excitement — talking so fast it sounds like code — or are you just making noise. How can anyone think that fast? And how do you understand each other — you and your friend — both going on at the same time with so much pace and energy and volume. Was that a giggle mixed in with a few fragments of recognizable words? Really, I want to know.
I'm not being critical and I'm not making fun. You are an entity so foreign to me I stand here dazed and confused. I can only absorb, somewhat. I cannot translate.
Yes, your hair looks fine.
I do like that shirt.
No, I don't think every nail a different color would look good.
They can't get any tighter. They're painted on now.
Yes, he is "just the bomb", I suppose.
And just like that, the slow invasion of the teenage you gives way to the stark realization that the next rap on my door may be another invader. Equally foreign, this one, and dangerous. A boy.
No, a teenage boy.
This is the end of the world as I know it.
Jack McDaniel owns Impress Design and Marketing in Parker, Colorado. He began writing a collection of stories and essays when his daughter was born. You can read more of his writing or learn more about at: http://jackmcdaniel.net or http://impress-design.com.
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