We approach the 19th anniversary with no end in sight. My resolve is all but gone. I go through the motions of life like some kind of robot and the days mean so little any more. Am I awake or dreaming? Am I still the man I was? Am I a man at all? If someone told me I had died years ago I don’t know how I would prove them wrong.
The sky shows no sign of clearing. I forget what the sun looks like. It’s fire in the sky. That’s what we tell the children, the few that there are. And they look at us like fools and nod their heads. Fire in the sky, Uncle Larry, sure thing. Of course.
I forget what Jennifer’s face looked like. And our son. He’d be a man now. Maybe is. Somewhere. Out there. In his land. The Balkilling Fields. Balki. Son of a bitch.
19 years since it seemed like I would finally be rid of him, my cousin, my nemesis, my fearsome pain in the ass. My God, was he mentally ill? Was he an idiot? Diseased? There’s no country called Mypos, did you know that? The man wasn’t my cousin, he was just an asshole. A silly asshole. And then he became a monster.
I always thought the end of the world would be a quick thing, a nuclear war or an asteroid. But it’s not. It’s so slow. Maybe there is no end and that’s what really makes it awful. It’s just this drawn out production, this horrible play of pain and suffering. And he did it all.
I should have guessed there was something strange about him long before it got this far. The dancing, the voice, the near criminal stupidity. That time I caught him eating a hobo and dancing naked covered in his blood. There were so many small signs.
No one listened when I warned them at first. That first month when Balki left our apartment and took to the streets, killing indiscriminately. They said “Cousin Balki? But he’s so funny!” But he wasn’t funny. You hear me, that son of a bitch was never funny! You think a fake accent and kind of aimless racism is funny? What the hell?
By the end of the first year Balki had killed more people than cancer. By the end of the decade there weren’t even any cities left that could be called as much. The survivors had fled, taking up residence where they could, hiding and hoping for a miracle. Balki was so funny. God, were we ever so stupid? The 80s can eat my ass with a spoon.
I remember a couple of years back, word was that they had developed a weapon to fight him, something even more terrible than he was. Something called Fred, from a place called the internet. But of course that didn’t work. People said he was funny, too. Idiots. Awful, awful idiots.
And now where are we? Scorched land and a red and black sky. No sun, no trees, no fresh water. Fire and screams everywhere. For what? Balki was a funny guy. That’s what they said.
Balki was not a funny guy. Balki was never a funny guy.