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you know what the doctors do when they get cancer? Do they do the slash, burn, or poison? 1 knew this woman, a big woman. She got cancer, and I didn’t see her for a long time. A year later, I’m in the grocery store. I hear this voice. Me: lady, do I know you? Then: Jee-zuz kreist. She did chemotherapy, and she looks like they just dug her up. Her eyes, the only thing the same was her eyes. And her voice. He reckons he has until February. I’m happy with my lifestyle; I don’t want to change. He’s made arrangements. Get a gun and know how to use it. Before the collapse Look how they changed it to “market correction,” nobody wants to say Fear he projected his own mortality onto the world he inhabits, or that’s how I read it: despite his cool rationality about death, he is deeply and unspeakably afraid of dying alone, unremembered, for no other purpose than to feed the nematodes. So it makes more sense if he can place his death in terms of an imagined scenario of collective doom, and in this endeavor, I’m not persuaded that he needs companions any less than would a True Believer, Land Speculator, or Tulip Purveyor. Oddly, though, the stock market crash has revived him: if it’s going to shit, he wants to see it, and he wants to fight it, to survive, to be the last one standing. Take my friend Jack, a weird and terrible flower; we’re in his room. Do you want books, guns? He removes a book from the shelf. Do you want this one? We don’t have to do this now, I say, I’ll be back. What am I gonna do with it? I’m not ready how do I explain this? not ready to participate in the disassembling of his life; it seems too soon, but I’m speaking for myself. But will I be here? Who knows? Will any of us be here? I don’t want his books on banks and the stock market, from which he has extracted the greedy truth of the new prosperity. You’ll want to look stuff up, I tell him. You’re going to have fun in the next couple months. At this prospect, he gleams. It’s a reflex. Maybe so. I hope so. There’s gonna be a lot of unhappy people in this town if the bank closes…. Austin writer Michael Erard is thinking about the end of the world as he knows it. This article was partially funded through a grant from the Austin Writers’ League, in cooperation with the Texas Commission on the Arts. Subscribe to the Texas Observer 307 W. 7th St Austin, TX 78701 [email protected] 111110% 11016 W Labor Intensive Radio Radio of the union, by the union and for the union. \(News tips: call Paul Sherr at Fridays 4:30-5:00 p.m. KO.OP 91.7 FM CLASSIFIEDS ORGANIZATIONS WORK for single-payer National Health Care. Join GRAY PANTHERS, intergenerational advocates against ageism and for progressive policies promoting social and economic justice. $20 individual, $35 family. 3710 Cedar, REVOLTED BY EXECUTIONS? Join the Amnesty International Campaign Against the Death Penalty. 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