Ordinary life is pretty complex stuff.
— Harvey Pekar
In the end, we’re all ventriloquist dummies, Mister Pants realized. We repeat what we’re told while hoping our heads don’t fall off.
He had read a story about why this particular bout of ventriloquism was so much worse. It was because there was nothing you could compare it to. There was no “well, yes, this is bad, but remember when this happened and we got through it. We’ll get through this too.” This was something else altogether. We were all collectively losing our heads. Sometimes a jaunty bow tie isn’t enough.
The insanity would not end in his lifetime. 21 days had flown by in slow motion. The vermin was going to overstay its welcome. This will be our 9/11, the surgeon general said. But Mister Pants already had his 9/11. And one was plenty, thank you very much..
So he pulled on his mask, laced up his sneakers and headed into the haze of the sunset. It was one of those book endings that leaves you hanging, not knowing what the ultimate outcome would be.
Life’s like a movie, Kermit one said, write your own ending. And that was his.
In his ordinary life, he would make a run for it while trying not to say “coronavirus” in headlines and eating way too many paletas until the world ended. Complex stuff indeed.
Nobody would notice when the house lights came up. The corpses stacked up on the curbs as the bailouts began. In a way, he was relieved he wouldn’t have to be around to see it.
So it goes, the prophet Vonnegut said. So it goes, the prophet Ellerbee agreed.
So it goes.