Fiction
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The Earthquake Kit

A brochure came in the mail about making an earthquake kit, and we considered it, figured that we could buy one that had all the necessities like bags you pooped in so it wouldn’t stink the place after a while, and I guessed I could use my USB-charged bicycle light as a flashlight, so the next item was water, and canned food, but we’re vegetarians, and inclined to eat healthy, so we had to make our own version of it. There would be beans and lentils and dehydrated vegetables, and let’s not forget a bit of curry powder of course.

Wine, there had to be bottles of wine, because considering how pathetic the situation could be, you know, with no internet, no electricity, no cell phones, and as in The Road, nasty hooligans roaming the earth wanting your shopping cart, we might as well have something to enjoy for a couple of weeks before we die.

The problem, we quickly figured out, we would raid the earthquake kit whenever we needed, or more likely, whenever we wanted wine. We would need to get organized, select some wine that gets better with aging under the staircase, where it’s cool and dark all the time. Make a list, and overstock it, so the cellar is replenished periodically.

“After an earthquake, your stuff is like one big pile,” I said. “There will be the pile, a mess really, and this really organized earthquake kit containing food and wine…”

“What about the neighbors?”

“Well, this neighbor,” I said, pointing East, “certainly has organized a kit. Maybe that’s what he buried when he redid his backyard last Fall. But look how neat their house is. He comes out with a canister of Agent Orange just to take the greenery off his driveway.”

“But surely not a gourmet kind of people, judging from their 4th of July BBQ. I tell you, on the third day of spotted dick and canned sausage, they’re going to look over the fence and ask to join our party.”

“So we’ll need to stock up, then. Trader Joe’s 2-buck chuck, that kind of things. I wished I were Jesus, you know, change water into wine, like he did at that wedding?”

“Let’s get some red food coloring. That way we can change water into wine. We have that vodka bottle my English professor left in the freezer, for the alcohol side of it.”

“Perfect. Now we’re ready for the earthquake and the apocalypse.”

The next thing we figured was this. We’d be bored to death. They, the neighbors, would be bored to death, and would stare at our bookshelf not knowing what to do. Would they play Scrabble? I banned Monopoly, because in an apocalyptic kind of situation, that could awake some unwanted competitiveness. We quickly cleared our minds of the idea of group sex, plus we’re gay, they’re straight.

“I could be converted to Bi-curious, under duress, but frankly, no.”

We agreed. It was getting late, and the earthquake kit had been sort of planned in our heads, and would certainly be realized and built, some day.  Soon.  Very soon.

“Earthquakes are on geological time, you know?”

“Yeah, no worries.”

p.s. I asked the neighbor to the East, and he said he had a generator and enough fuel to power his TV and satellite dish for a while, so we may not need to worry about the entertainment part.

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pronouns: they/them/their

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