The End of the World

It could all be whipped away from us in the very blink of an eye, this trusty old world of ours. I might not even be able to finish this post because the dumb old world ending thing might happen fir… st. If you’re a fan of Dr. Who, it almost happens every week.

On a totally different subject, my wife and I were talking about absolute cold… well, I was babbled about it and she was very nice… absolute cold. So cold that all of the heat is drawn out of the molecules, down to the quarks and their cousins falling to infinitesimally small particles of nothing, but not falling because there is no energy. No energy, no heat, but absolute cold. Maybe that’s the end of the world.

Or, maybe it happened today, when my daughter told me that maybe I should reconsider my book – you have a good idea, there, but maybe you should write it this way. Excuse me? Excuse me? Excuuuuuuuuse me? You’re my kid. You’re supposed to think it’s better than Gone with the Wind, for crying out loud. Maybe it would be better if…?

It’s not the end of the world, but, you’re a writer, you know how it feels.

This afternoon was supposed to be a nice editing session, powering through the last quarter of the book, reworking working sentences into elegant, beautiful descriptions of the human condition.

He pulled the trigger. The pistol exploded in fire and smoke. The pirate swore and ran for the ladder. Lah dee dah dee dah.

Maybe she’s right. Maybe I should sit down and write a book like J.K. Rowling, or Stephen King.   Yes, perhaps I’ll try that. Maybe I’ll just write version seven of this stupid book off as a whim, one that’s lasted a good six years, and do something else. I hear that wallpaper’s easy to hang. Taco Bell’s hiring.

It’s not the end of the world. But some simple conversations can cool your heart until the quarks cease their tiny orbits.

Now, I’m not complaining. I am sharing this with you, dear writer, because the day may come when a loved one delivers to you the blow that ends your world, your entire universe.

But you know that you’re good – you just have to hold onto that, because you ARE good, dear writer. And tomorrow the sun will come up and the absolute zero in your heart will thaw, and your muons will start their crazy dance, and life will go on.

And you’ll think about what you’ve been told, and you’ll put it into the salad bar of your mind, right next to the windmills, and continue your work.

See? It wasn’t the end of the world.

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Author: John Reinhart

Technical writer John Reinhart says his mission is to get his readers excited about the possibilities of and wonders of planetary science. A happily married father of three from Ventura, CA, he holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Cal State Chico, has taught college courses, and is working on his second novel.

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