And Having Fled
"Nature is collapsing," you said to us. "This is the winter of it's discontent," you paraphrased. "It is not only our social and moral structure which is under threat. This is irrelevant. Nature is vomiting, nay, spewing us out. Like a mussel ejecting grains of sand in slime, because it is not useful to it, not nutritious." Wé are the grains, Nature is a mollusc. Is that what you meant then? Or were you just using a metaphor? Rhetorical bullshit? -Perhaps....
It cannot be doubted, however, that in the last quarter of a century the amount of slime Nature has produced has slowly been encapsulating all human efforts and endeavors.
We never knew where you came from. Some thought you a new messiah or a preacher. Yet if you were that you only preached doom and despair. You rang the bells of fate and told us it was really too late to start acting now.
Some thought you a scientist and scolded you for not offering a solution to the problems you perceived. That was the job of scientists, they said; and more often thought.
Yet no one saw you for what you really were. I did. Or at least thought I did. You were a recluse. A relic. A refugee. You never said so in so many words, but you were our heir. You were the last-born. Literally. The question we should have asked was not where you whére from but whén. When you were eighteen all of humanity had died. You became what humanity had always tried to become: united; with one will and one system. A gestalt. Of course you were ONE! And of course you were all of humanity united. You were the last. And lonely. So, because you were ONE, new powers came to you. The power to see the past and, especially frightful, the future. You saw it for what it is, predestined, void. Screaming you fled, or tried to. Instinctively, blindly, you stretched out a hand and grabbed the past. Wrapping it around you, you hurtled it through the decades and centuries. In effect, you transported yourself into the past, for we can look upon this process in two ways, depending on our point of reference.
With this you lost your powers, for they came from being the last, the final stage of mankind: one-ness. Now you were in a world filled to overflowing: a world in which over five and a half billion individuals tried to achieve some state of well- being and happiness. A hopeless case, of course. In just under twenty-five years Nature would start it's slow suffocation of humanity. Squeezing the life-force out.
All this you told us, and much, much, more. How the rivers would be filled with sludge and foam and slime. How the continental waters would follow, rendering shipping (and fishing) impossible. Ecosystem after ecosystem collapsed. Coral reefs were among the first to disappear. Often seen as the rainforests of the sea it's collapse seemed disastrous, yet they filled such a minute space in the vastness of the ocean that it's effect was minimal. Over 80% of all oxygen was still being supplied by oceanic algae and the destruction of the rainforests themselves caused little public concern. The pictures you painted in our minds with terrible and painful accuracy, they will never leave us. Some of us tried to go insane, to forget. We saw it didn't help. "Can we repair?" we asked. "Can we make amends?" Your answer was simple and infuriating: "No. It is too late for that. Gasses will continue to permeate, to diffuse. Toxins will continue to accumulate. Biodegradation of xenobiotics will come to a halt. We will suffocate. We will become extinct. This is inevitable." It is too late, how damning those words were! You were indeed a preacher of doom!
"Why are you here then." I yelled at you, "If it is too late now for us to act we should have acted earlier. Why didn't you go to a point in the past when we could still have done something?" I was desperate, I was angered. Because I knew I could not blame you, who was our heir, our last-born. You fled instinctively, blindly. And, having fled, you lost your powers to flee further.
This is your testament, for you passed away some time ago. Ironic, the last-born human has died, yet countless millions will still be born. You, who were of a future age was powerless to prevent their misery. And their last, painful, struggles to continue humanity. Alas, it is not to be. The last born has died. The future has been seen and it's course has been fixed...