If civilization falls apart like nearly all of us seem to think it will, only the uncivilized will survive.
- Jim Goad, “Taming The Wild Nugent,” April 23, 2012
The end is near. I can see it. It’s written in the sky. The weather here in Nebraska—your true & rightful home—tells me everything I need to know. I can feel it. It’s in the air, like that song you used to listen to all the time when we were kids. You know, the one with the drum solo or whatever. God, you used to love that song. Do you still listen to it, I wonder? If there’s anything I’ve learned in the long years we’ve been apart, it’s that sometimes songs can tell you the future if you listen close enough. And not just songs, Randy. Newspapers and the TV can give you glimpses of what’s to come if you know how to sift through the nonsense and look for the signs. The world around us is the same way. I often see things written in the birch trees near the old grain silo. Ripples in the lake whisper portents in my ear. The herons speak to me without ever opening their bills. We communicate, the birds and I, with our minds. Telepathy, Randy. Our old friend Mrs. Keating calls it “ESP.”
And you would not believe the things they tell me about death. Firestorms sent from heaven to burn us down. Big-breasted she-demons with pin teeth ready to sink poison into our very veins. Undead armies of teenagers with their heavy metal and their Internet phones and their erection pills riding a wave of pornography down Main Street. Right here in Lincoln! Sometimes I think those birds are crazy. I think they’re trying to confuse me. But then I think about the economy and the gays and that bulge in Pastor Titus’ crotch that seems to call me like a coyote at midnight and... oh, I don’t know, Randy! I wish you were here to help me make sense of all this. You could meet the herons and they could tell you the things that they tell me and together we could make the necessary preparations.
Uncle Teddy thinks I’m going soft. He says there ain’t no such thing as birds that can talk to humans about Revelations and such. But he’s getting ready in his own way. Every time I peek into that old barn of his, I see more canned beans, more tuna fish, more cling peaches and fruit cocktails than last time. Sometimes he stays up all night butchering a deer he’s shot. He salts the meat and heat-seals it with this fancy new contraption he got at the auction a few months back. Into the freezer it goes, with all the rest. Right on top of my Klondike bars.
I want to tell you something else. Things here in Lincoln ain’t what they used to be. The latex factory shut down a few months back, and Ma Herring says she might not be able to keep the diner open past Christmas. Pastor Titus didn’t say it out loud, but I could tell by last Sunday’s sermon that the church is hurting for finances. Could you imagine if they had to close the church, Randy? Last week I asked the herons if I could do anything about it. I know I’m just silly farm girl with no fund-raising talents to speak of, but if I can help Pastor Titus keep the church doors open for all us sinners, I’ll be doing God’s work, won’t I? But the birds said there was nothing I could do. Do you know why, Randy?
Because Satan is coming, Randy. SATAN IS COMING. And we are truly powerless against his unholy wrath. I want you to remember that out there in Los Angeles, Randy. I want you to think about it when you listen to that song that I know you still listen to. “It” IS coming in the air, Randy. “It” has cloven hooves and a forked tongue and every word from its mouth spells S-A-T-A-N and certain death.
Gotta run now. Uncle Teddy wants me to milk Gladys before supper. If you have a chance, please send more of those nice grapefruits that Momma and I love so much.
This bullshit originally appeared in the July 2012 issue of Decibel magazine.