Have you ever had one of those moments where someone looks at you like you’ve grown a second head? Eyes simultaneously widening and narrowing in your direction, a silence so cinematic you can count the beats between what you said and their reaction?
I was telling the Drinking Club, as we noshed on killer burrata in a tiny basement restaurant in the West Village, that I had spent the previous night volunteering with an organization that encourage students to discover a love of writing. I had hoped they would appreciate some of the creative short stories the students had written, particularly one about a shep (a magical sheep, in case you’re not up on your fantastic beasts lexicon) named Toasterhead who wants to be transformed…into a waffle. By a monkey witch doctor.
AM was deeply disturbed by this tale. What does it say about me that I was charmed by it?
It was clear, that evening exploring the inner workings of a first grader’s imagination, that the human mind is capable of both creating wonder that opens our minds, and horror that causes our palms to sweat. The latter applies to our latest read, which struck at our deepest fears so effectively that some of us couldn’t finish the book.
Emily St. John Mandel’s thrilling and freaky apocalyptic tale Station Eleven shows the reader what could happen to our humanity if the human race were to go extinct. Alternating timelines take us into the lives of an aging actor, his first wife, his best friend, a paparazzo-turned-paramedic, and a child actor before and after the deadly Georgian Flu outbreak. As they cope with personal and global fallout, each questions their past and what they’ve left behind, and what future they want to create for themselves. When a meglomaniac prophet begins wreaking havoc on the new world, those left must fight to preserve the fragile order that has been constructed. Although, I’m gonna say: regardless of whether 99% of the population has been killed by the worst cold, it is never okay for kids to start reading from the Book of Revelations. That’s some serious M. Night Shyamalan shit. Although I guess you could say the same thing about sheep becoming waffles.
All this talk of the world ending naturally led to a discussion of our own short time on this Earth. For reasons unknown, DR is convinced she’s getting offed first and has tasked each of us with very specific plans for her burial. This plan is complicated (think Viking funeral and you’re halfway here). I can think of no better way to celebrate her legacy.
But before we get there, we have to prepare ourselves for an equally dramatic event: swimsuit season. It’s been a brutal winter, I think we can all agree. And we’ve eaten a lot of mac and cheese to get through. It’s understandable. We don’t regret what we did. But because we live in a world where having a swimsuit body doesn’t mean having a body to put a swimsuit on, we need to figure out how to create a third stomach for mac and cheese (everyone knows you have a second stomach for dessert). Or burn down the patriarchy. We like Option 2 better.
What else is new with the Drinking Club, aside from finalizing our wills and stocking up on nonperishables?
- AM got a promotion (finally) and MV found new employment (yaaaas).
- I’m convinced it would be easier to find Carmen Sandiego than figure out where in the 50 states DD and MM are currently working, kicking ass and taking names.
- AM and LL are heading to Iceland and Ireland this month. Here’s hoping they bring back Ryan Merriman.
- DR will be exploring the beauty of the National Parks soon, and she’ll come back refreshed and tanned because of course she’s not going to die on a hike, like she keeps saying she will.
And now, we’re going to continue with our lives and not imagine the world ending when someone sneezes.
Until next time,