Before May 11th, 2011, I didn’t believe the hype about the world ending on May 21, 2011. In fact, I would have felt silly touting such an idea. The billboards and freak following of biblical trumpeter, Harold Camping, insist that Judgment Day is coming next Saturday. May 21 will be the end of the world for all the freaks — the saved freaks and the damned freaks left behind. I didn’t believe there could be an actual Armageddon, and I wasn’t even sure I would have bet that humanity would someday come to an end. Until May 11th of this year.
An incident at my local Ralph’s grocery store convinced me the apocalypse is coming soon, and that humanity should not only fear it, but realize it deserves it. The end of the world, I realized, couldn’t come too soon after a horrific and frightening encounter involving a heavyset, mobilized chair-ridden transvestite and a small, middle-aged Asian woman came to a vicious bloody end in the grocery store’s parking lot.
Only such brutal and petty attacks by strange and peculiar humans could be believable during the last phases of humanity’s existence. On May 21, the Campians believe all true believers in Christ will be Raptured into Heaven, and the rest of us will be left on earth, left behind to endure the grave consequences of non-belief: The Pacific ring of fire is going to shake, erupt, and explode one volatile segment at a time. Japan-style earthquakes will erupt all around the ring of fire, and the world as we know it will tumble and fall for the next five months until all of humanity will be eaten by a hellish blaze. It sounds like the earth will also be consumed.
I was a cynic, too cool for my own good, until I showed up at the grocery store that afternoon. Thoughts of Judgment Day and May 21st of this year were far from my mind. When I walked into Ralph’s, an old beastly man-ish sort of human creature was propped in an expensive scooter chair. He/she/it was screaming (in a manly voice) about nine dollars. Stolen by this bitch. And with its left hand, it pointed at a slight Asian woman, middle-aged.
The woman held her ground. She was not much taller than the creature in the high-backed scooter, but she knew she was in the right, and I could tell by her defiant stance. The Asian woman was not shrinking away. She was braver than I was. A screaming, spitting, frothing creature in a fast-moving motor-chair would have sent me running up the nearest staircase like a cat fleeing up a tree to save its own life from a barking dog.
The invalid beast was seriously overweight, but not grossly obese. The curled fingers on its right hand delicately worked the lever which was set at the end of the chair’s arm rest. The beast gave the lever a nimble flick and the chair darted forward an inch. It really zipped. For the sake of society and all its sane members, one could only hope this was a responsible creature in command of this chair-scooter, otherwise there was a potential for grave disasters. But with most of these disabled humans living in the crummier sections of L.A. (such as where we were), you can expect them to be heavily medicated on mood enhancers, combined with uppers, downers, and whatever else could be thrown into the welfare cocktail to control schizophrenic tendencies, insomnia, cramps, listlessness, slothfulness, and a sever gender disorder.
The outcome would nearly be fatal for the Asian lady. She couldn’t have known that blood would be spilled before this was all over. “Give me your address,” she said, “and I’ll send you the money.” No! the beast wailed. Two Ralph’s managers stood next to the scene, eyeing the thing in the chair and then looking at each other. A small crowd had gathered. You could feel the tension of all the voyeurs, and it seemed everybody was hoping there would be some kind of freak show battle.
My thin hippie friend who seemed to live at Ralph’s and always wanted to take me out for a shot of wheatgrass at a mysterious health store around the corner appeared to my right and said, “The tranny claims the Asian woman stole his nine dollars out of the lotto machine. You can hear him yelling throughout the entire store. But I know she wouldn’t have taken his money, she’s a sweetheart.” My friend’s name is Marvin, and he might be right about the Asian woman being sweet, but I also know he is biased because he loves Asian women. Haven’t slept with a white woman for twenty-one years, he once told me. All Asian for me. “Tae kwon do!” he shouted. Everybody looked at Marvin, except the tranny.
Marvin probably had under 4000 hairs on his head, and they were all long and clumped together and tied into a greasy ponytail. Every time he saw me at the store, he told everybody working there that we were brothers. White brothers. Long-haired brothers. Hippie brothers. And we’d do a minimum of one hundred fist bumps before I could take leave and do my grocery shopping.
Did you know the world is going to end on May 21, 2011? I asked him, having to shout in his ear because the tranny was screaming about how he wouldn’t be dicked. Not today, not tomorrow. He called the woman a filthy whore. An ugly Asian bitch.
“The end of the world?” Marvin asked me, “like Judgment Day?”
I nodded. Harold Camping said so, and he’s a frightful figure. Looks like one of William Burroughs’ long lost friends.
“We’d better get that shot of wheatgrass then, otherwise you won’t get another chance to try it.”
I told him I take wheatgrass enemas. I can’t taste it, but that’s the extent to which I dabble in wheatgrass.
“I’d be happy to administer,” Marvin said.
That scared me, and I took a step away from him and closer to the howling tranny. Marvin had never expressed that kind of interest in men, white or otherwise. Did I tell you about Bush keeping bin Laden’s heart in a jar? I asked.
“You told me that already,” Marvin said.
Then his body washed on shore at Karachi, Pakistan, and the fisherman said, His heart’s been cut out.
“May 21,” he said, standing behind me, “that seems about right. Look at how ugly we are. But then again, humanity has always been nasty.” He pointed at the two humans at odds with each other. Behind them were the tall box lotto machines.
The problem is, I said, on May 21st of this year, 7,000 years will have passed since the Great Flood, and humanity is no better. No more loving or civilized. This is a perfect example. I now believe in the May 21 club, but only ten minutes ago, I didn’t. I think Judgment Day is coming real soon. And if it’s the end of the world, I said, we might as well ride it out with an orgy. Something the Romans would have done when their world ended. No more need for condoms or health food or savings accounts. Let’s ride this wave.
Marvin raised his eyebrows.
We will have separate orgies, I told him, but orgies nonetheless. Most of us have been waiting for the bonfires in the hills and the wild end of the world streaking.
The Asian woman had escaped the store. The Ralph’s managers looked relieved'”out of their building, no longer their responsibility. The tranny’s chair zipped forward. The beast’s short gray curls of hair were blown back in the wind. The mobile chair speedily disappeared around the corner of the store. For a second I thought he was going to roll it and there would be a motor vehicle accident to report. Instead, as the crowd stood still, mentally scratching their heads wondering what they’d just witnessed, we heard a bloodcurdling scream. Everybody tried to run outside at once, but the sliding glass doors were only wide enough for a few to escape. Marvin and I slipped past. The screaming turned into shrieking.
“Sounds like a noise your mother’d make when she was pushing you out,” Marvin said to me. We jostled with the crowd.
I said, You’d better get used to shrieks and wails and moans on May 21, if that’s really the end'”
When we cleared the corner, we all stopped in an instant. Those running behind us pushed into our backs, but soon we all stood quietly, too shocked to move. The tranny was beating the woman over the head with its right hand, and with its left it held her arm. Like a savage beast it was chewing on her hand, which the tranny had pinned behind her back. Its neck muscles bulged with the effort of beating the woman and keeping her detained. Pieces of tissue paper were working out of the tranny’s blouse. The light paper floated in the wind and came toward the crowd. Everybody ducked and dodged to avoid touching the tissues. A man to the left of me miscalculated his reaction and had his face covered with a piece of the tranny’s endowment.
Compromised, trying to loosen its grip, the Asian woman flailed about, lamely striking behind her with her free hand, hitting nothing. She repeatedly suffered sharp blows to the head. She shrieked and moaned, and the tranny snarled. Blood was smeared around its lips, and on the woman’s injured hand. She finally tore herself away and ran to the parking lot. The Ralph’s managers shouted about calling the police. But nobody moved from out tight knit group. We had the best view that money could buy, and nobody had paid a dime. We were spectators, and spectators were never to get involved in the show, unless blatantly called for.
The tranny’s chair darted after the woman. She climbed into her SUV and shut the door. We could hear her muffled weeping from inside the vehicle. The sounds of the apocalypse. The bitter weeping of those left behind on Judgment Day. The tranny rammed the car with its chair. It made primal animal sounds as it backed up to once again jam its chair into the side of the woman’s SUV.
We heard sirens in the distant. The beast all the while pummeled the SUV and caused very minor damage. “Suppose we should have helped her,” a tall man said from the rear of the crowd. Someone made a scoffing sound. An unattractive woman said, “But you just hate to get involved in other people’s business.” The man: “I agree. That doesn’t seem right.”
It’s the end of the world, I told Marvin. Harold Camping is right. We’re doomed. Judgment Day is going to be upon us quicker than we know it, and we will be left on this earth with the likes of that monster in a cart. Savage brutes in powerful motor chairs will rule the world for five harrowing months until we’re all dead and buried, and who knows what’s in store for us after death? But until then we will be viciously torn apart by the gnashing yellowed teeth of our fellow humans. It’s the end of the world, and we deserve every moment of terror and agony that accompanies it.
The ambulance came. The tranny had given up on destroying the SUV and solemnly parked its chair in a corner near the grocery store. The beast sat complacently in the shade. “The cops must be busy, and I know the ambulance boys aren’t going to want to deal with that thing,” Marvin said. He pointed at the monster.
The woman shakily got out of her vehicle, never taking her eyes off the tranny, and the paramedics worked on her hand and gave her neck and head an inspection. The crowd had dispersed. “I can guarantee this wasn’t about nine dollars,” Marvin said, “it was about the rage a tranny feels because he wants to be a woman, and he wants to be doted on by guys, by men. He wants what that beautiful Asian woman has, and he can’t get it because he’s just an ugly fat old man. He’s got tissues for tits and nothing more.”
And soon there will be nothing left, starting next Saturday, May 21, 2011, Judgment Day. Harold Camping’s prediction of the end of the world. Who’s selling tickets for salvation? I don’t think even Camping knows, exactly. It’s a crapshoot, and everybody will wait it out, with bated breath, hoping that somewhere on their person they hold a ticket to our modern day’s Noah’s Ark. The only certain thing, it seems, is that the seats will be sparse, and the people plentiful.