Sometimes, to make myself feel better as I trudge my way back up the steps to my office after a slightly-too-long lunchbreak with all the young intelligent attractive people I am lucky and happy to be friends with, I imagine how my office building will look once it has been abandoned. I see parts of the stairs fallen away all together, the rest pulled apart by the stubborn, slow-moving fingers of weeds that have wedged themselves into the cracks.
Everything will slowly rot away, I tell myself firmly. The fibres held together to form carpet will disintegrate into a slightly itchy dust. The glass of the windows will be yellowed, cracked, splinters on the floors, or gone altogether. Maybe doors and windows will be boarded up, graffitied like we see in the movies. I smile in a fond way at us humans trying to conceive of and imagine our own demise, immortalised in television, graphic novel, film. There’s always graffiti.
I suspect the way we all go is more likely to be infertility, like in Children of Men, or dead crops, like in Interstellar, or a nuclear holocaust, like in Isobelle Carmody’s Obernewtyn. I don’t really think there’ll be zombies, even though I’d like that. I’d like evolution, Marvel Universe-esque powers, revolt and revolution. I assume I’ll be dead, bones in the ground. So I allow myself the luxury of a daydream. There’s a weird comfort in knowing that ultimately, my dislike of those stairs that I traipse up and down at least twice a day is irrelevant to the future of the planet. That time will ravage them and their torturous role in my day-to-day existence will ultimately be immaterial.