S would bring chickens. R would bring guns. And ammunition. E would bring a machete and first off use it to break into a specific shop on George St so we could go to the apocalypse well-dressed.
I started asking them all about what one thing they would bring to the apocalypse in the first place to distract from The Birthday Questions, which I didn’t want to answer because I’m always overthinking about telling people my thoughts even after seven years of writing this column. Especially after seven years? Is it worse in person? Probably. Anyway.
C would bring costumes and P would bring improv games. I am not sure I would like to be sitting next to them at the apocalypse.
Possibly some people are going to feel the same way about me, since I said my offering would be rampant enthusiasm. I didn’t think it would be practical to bring coffee because it’s bound to run out eventually and I foresee trouble in trying to be fair with portions while also managing my addiction. I am not sure, now I come to think of it in the warm glow of my second moka pot of the day, how I will bring rampant enthusiasm without coffee. Lucky it’s only a game.
The R that is not bringing the guns is going to bring a dependent child to the apocalypse, which made some of the rest of us remember that if we’re lucky we’ll be doing that too. I’m hoping for an apocalypse with a real community feeling. L will bring their old and very loved soft toy and is prepared to share it around should anyone else need comfort. (They can also sing all the elements of the periodic table in order and you never know when that may come in useful.) The other L will bring some specific plants planted and harvested from under the moon.
M went home early and when I checked in I forgot to specify that they could only bring one thing with them, so they are bringing a book about edible fauna in Aotearoa, abook on how to treat ailments with plants and such, a book on how to make alcohol in the wild, whatever medicinal and non-medicinal drugs they can get their hands on, some warm stuff, some waterproof stuff, fire-making things, a knife, a book for reading and a trapping kit. I would definitely like to be sitting next to M in the apocalypse. They were also going to bring firearms but I told them R and E have strategic violence covered, in style.
S is not bringing a book about chickens. The knowledge and care lives in their head and hands. This week I was reading The Rain Heron by Robbie Arnott, in which people with knowledge and care, or not, do some quite apocalyptic living and dying with guns and medicinal plants and edible flora and a distinct lack of improv games.
I don’t think I could bring fiction with me to the apocalypse. Choosing just one book and inevitably having to burn it when M’s fire-making things run low. I think I’d better start committing more of other people’s poetry to memory in preparation for the apocalypse, so I have it to keep me warm.