Cult of the American Dream
Most people don’t remember the world the way it was before the first bombs dropped. The storytellers say that the end started in 1989, that the communists killed our president on TV back when you could pull stuff off the air instead of off tapes. The communists were on their last leg and agreed to tear down some wall, but then they shot him and started to drop the bombs.
A lot of people died then. Most of the big cities were hit and a lot of small ones too. The government held stuff together for a little while. Some of the people who survived the first few weeks after the bombs found support with the government. They’d shelter down in the empty missile silos that weren’t hit by bombs, caves, bunkers and other places that let them ride out the cold times. Things were tough then, harsh rationing, plenty of starvation and disease, a lot of us were born then, I guess that makes sense it was pretty boring down there.
About 15 years after the bombs dropped people were rebuilding on the surface again. Planes would sometimes fly overhead and drop supplies. Crops started to grow. People still got plenty sick in a lot of places but I would have taken my chances with radiation poisoning out in the sunlight than going out cold and shaking in a dark pit. The government started pulling itself back together too. Roads, refineries, farms, military, stuff like that were patched together. But the communists had done the same.
The second time the bombs fell they were smaller and weren’t radioactive but there were a lot of them. I had an uncle in the army around that time and he said they were probably starving and wanted to invade for our food. But they never did. The night those bombs fell sounded like nothing I’ve heard since. There were so many you couldn’t make out a single one explosion. Just one loud roar. The flashes off the horizon that night were bright and constant enough to make it feel like daylight. We were close to a lot of them, had a dud hit about a mile away or so I’m told. Just about everything got leveled that night. Pockets of stuff survived here and there, mostly small towns and the space between them, The cities are shells of rubble and skeletons of old buildings. The dust was astounding. It drowned everything and blocked out the sun for a long time. Things got cold again for a few years and then the heat hit, yea it wasn’t always this hot.
The stuff that survived we fought over. a factory here, a refinery there, sources of clean water stuff like that. I’m not proud of the stuff I did then, but when a man has a thirst like that he’ll do some stuff. I guess things are still in that shape, but most people carved out their place in one way or another by now.
I guess it’s been sixty years since the second bomb day. I guess most the world is in nearly as rough shape as us if those crazy fuckers sailing into and out of the coast are to be believed. I’d wager that anyone who could remember a time before all this is dead by now. I guess that’s why I’m telling you all this, we’ve got to remember who we are and why we’re here.