You bet everyone who loved her is thinking of her as they're starving to death. [[Remember]] her large blue eyes. Her perfect hair that she hated. How you begged her to stop cutting herself. That time her cousin commited suicide and you held her hand and saw what it would be like for her if you did it.\n\n<<if $visited_bedroom eq "yes">>\nIt's been 10 years since you talked to Jenn. You wonder if she ever had children. A part of you hope she didn't, considering the circumstances. But you hope this was a world in which she got to be a mother.<<endif>> <<if$visited_couch eq "yes">>\nCincinn purs. You put your hand over his beige wrinkly body. You sing to him. He's a good friend, he doesn't run away. \n\n<<else>>CJ is so soft. You rub your hand over his soft skin. Your belly rumbles. <<endif>>\n\n<<back>>
<<if $visited_die eq "yes">> \n[[Remember]] how much he loved you, how protective and giving he was when you were a kid. How quick he grew up and forgot about you. \n\n<<else>><<silently>><<set$visted_brother = "yes">><<endsilently>>You miss him. You think he's still alive. But that person out there starving somewhere is not the person you miss. \n\nYou miss the part of him that is dead, that you'll never laugh with again. \n\nYou think of playing Barbies with him under the covers late at night when you were supposed to be asleep. The whispers. The pauses in game play to listen for movements in your parents room. How good it felt to laugh when you weren't allowed to. \n\nHow quickly you turned on each other if your father rushed in your room in just his shit stained tighty whities to yell at you for waking him up. <<endif>>\n\n<<back>>
<<silently>>\n<<set $visited_Explore = "no">>\n<<set$cliff_bars = 5>>\n<<set $visited_Ken = "no">>\n<<endsilently>>\nThe year is [[2034]]. Your empitiness has a new friend. \nIts name is Hunger. \nThey are friends because they are both hollow and enjoy [[sabotaging]] you. \n\n\n[[Pet]] Cincinn.\n\n[[Explore]] flat.\n\n <<silently>><<set$visited_bike_helmet = "yes">><<endsilently>>This bike helmet looks just like [[Mick]]'s.\n\n[[Explore]].
<<silently>>\n<<set $visited_bedroom = "yes">><<endsilently>>\nThere is a small twin bed. A desk. Garbage. You can tell you're not the first person to crash here. You wonder what happened to whoever was here before you. \n\nNext to the bed, on the night stand, you have placed a picture frame with a photo of your [[mother]]. \n\nLook through [[desk]].\n\n[[Sleep]].\n\n<<back>> version.extensions.cyclinglinkMacro={major:3,minor:3,revision:0};\nmacros.cyclinglink={handler:function(a,b,c){var rl="cyclingLink";\nfunction toggleText(w){w.classList.remove("cyclingLinkInit");\nw.classList.toggle(rl+"Enabled");w.classList.toggle(rl+"Disabled");\nw.style.display=((w.style.display=="none")?"inline":"none")}switch(c[c.length-1]){case"end":var end=true;\nc.pop();break;case"out":var out=true;c.pop();break}var v="";if(c.length&&c[0][0]=="$"){v=c[0].slice(1);\nc.shift()}var h=state.history[0].variables;if(out&&h[v]===""){return\n}var l=Wikifier.createInternalLink(a,null);l.className="internalLink cyclingLink";\nl.setAttribute("data-cycle",0);for(var i=0;i<c.length;i++){var on=(i==Math.max(c.indexOf(h[v]),0));\nvar d=insertElement(null,"span",null,"cyclingLinkInit cyclingLink"+((on)?"En":"Dis")+"abled");\nif(on){h[v]=c[i];l.setAttribute("data-cycle",i)}else{d.style.display="none"\n}insertText(d,c[i]);if(on&&end&&i==c.length-1){l.parentNode.replaceChild(d,l)\n}else{l.appendChild(d)}}l.onclick=function(){var t=this.childNodes;\nvar u=this.getAttribute("data-cycle")-0;var m=t.length;toggleText(t[u]);\nu=(u+1);if(!(out&&u==m)){u%=m;if(v){h[v]=c[u]}}else{h[v]=""}if((end||out)&&u==m-(end?1:0)){if(end){var n=this.removeChild(t[u]);\nn.className=rl+"End";n.style.display="inline";this.parentNode.replaceChild(n,this)\n}else{this.parentNode.removeChild(this);return}return}toggleText(t[u]);\nthis.setAttribute("data-cycle",u)}}};
Though, she did, eventually. You were just faster than her. This was the pattern that you'd repeat over and over in your life. Embracing the darkness everyone avoided. Flourishing in it. Choosing the honesty of it over the warmth of obediant love. No matter how lonely you get, you still can't get to the point where you [[regret]] any of it. \n\n
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All skeletons. Some carry signs. "Save humanity." "I forgive you." \n\nYour tears fall over your cheek bones into your dimpled smile. You're not sure what good this will do. Slow down the vanishing of resources? But the horde of volunteers is magnificant. A part of you thinks that this is the group that should live. The ones selfless enough to [[die]]. But everyone looks so happy, it's hard to think because the happy tears are causing headaches, that heaviness in the back of your throat. You've been tired for so long. \n\n<<else>>So brief. Surrounded by 30 foot waves of everything terrible about the world. How hard you were on yourself. You think you did alright. You're glad you got to see so much of the world. You're glad even for your simple desires, though sometimes it made you feel different from everyone. You just never believed that life had to be this whole big deal. Your life was your always your own, and you have your [[father]] to thank for that. \n<<back>>\n<<endif>>\n Your [[mother]].\n\nYour [[father]].\n\nYour [[brother]].\n\n[[Jenn]].\n\n[[Bart]].\n\n[[Ken]].\n\n[[Mick]].\n\n\n[[Forget]].\n\n[[Explore]] more. \n\nThe [[inevitable]].\n <<silently>>\n<<set$visited_Ken = "yes">>\n<<endsilently>>\nYou can't believe you still [[dream]] about Ken. You haven't seen him in 25 years. You think he's the only boy you ever loved, because neither of you let it happen.\n\nYou're glad about it. Because you know yourself. \nYou are not cabable of loving a person. You know that's why they all actually left. \n\nNot because they got close enough to realize the real you.\n\nActually, when you think about it, those reasons are the same thing. \n
<<once>>The water works sometimes. Never long [[enough]] for a real shower. The toilet was clogged when you got here.\n\n<<becomes>>Horrifying toilet. No running water. Spiders.<<endonce>> \n\n<<back>>
<<if $visited_happy eq "yes">>\nYou owe so much to your dad. His father beat him when he was kid, and no matter how angry you made him, when you played with his baseball cards when you knew you weren't supposed to, when you and your brother woke him up at night with your laughter, when you challenged everything he always believed about the world, he never once raised a hand to you. \n\nYou wish you could here him say, "How's my baby doing?" one more time. \n\nYou wish you could have one more ride in the car with him, a car ride to drag the stories of his youth out of him. Or a better memory in which to keep them. You just want to [[die]] like he would. With dignity. A gratitude for the small life he was given, and all he was blessed with. \n\n<<else>>You never knew him. \n\nYou lived with him all your life and you never knew him.\n\nSometimes you wish you'd asked him if he ever cheated on your mom.\n\nYou have no reason to be suspicious that he did, you just always wondered. He was the kind of man that never offered anything without being asked. A man with a talent for [[mystery]].\n\nThe kind of man whose secrets were so mundane, whose life was so ordinary, that they were safe. <<endif>> \n\n <<silently>>\n<<set$visited_Explore = "yes">>\n<<endsilently>>\n\nYour apartment is small. There is:\n\na [[kitchen]]\na [[living room]]\na [[bathroom]]\nyour [[bedroom]]
<<silently>>\n<<set $visited_couch = "yes">><<endsilently>>\n[[Sleep]].\n\n<<back>> You never were. You never had. Love was never. Life was never bad. You never learned fast. Death was never meaningful. \n\n<<back>> Things are falling apart, but it's no surprise. Civilization is at the brink. Unequal wealth distrubution, as in we are the [[99.9%]]. Unsustainable resource exploitation, as in there's nothing left to [[exploit]]. \n\nThings were [[always]] falling apart. \n<<if$visited_bike_helmet eq "yes">>\nThe last time you saw Mick he was just a flash of red and black. Neither of you said anything to each other. \n\nOnce he took you on a long bike ride and the sun was setting, and he looked back at you trailing him and said, "I'm so glad you're here with me." \n\nSix months later you were strangers again. The cruelty of this shook you. You never told him how much he meant to you, so you convinced yourself he didn't. \n\n<<else>>Love was everything you always wanted, but by the time Mick got there it was too late. The kind of love you'd always wanted was not possible for you anymore. \n\nKen ruined this for you. And you still haven't forgiven him. \n\nNobody really liked Mick, anyway. Including you. \n\nKen ruined this for you. And you still haven't thanked him. \n<<endif>>\n\n<<back>>
Doom
[[Look]] for food.
He's at the top of a short list of things you [[always]] wanted and were able to give yourself. \n
<<if $visited_die eq "yes">>Sabotage. Sabotage. Sabotage. You say it over and over until it's just sounds. You think about the day that the world will end. You wonder if you're last person to ever appreciate the snare drum snap of your tongue as it hits your teeth when you say it.\n\n<<else>>Sabotage. Sabotage. Sabotage. You say it over and over until it's just sounds. You think about the day that word will die. You wonder if you're the last person to ever feel the snare drum snap of your tongue as it hits your teeth when you say it. <<endif>>\n\n<<back>> not really yours. Squatting. \n\n<<back>>\n\n It's a surprise that you end up making your death [[meaningful]]. A laugh, really. All that time you spend thinking about killing youself and never doing it. All the times you were sure life was meaningless. \n\nCursing the inertia that kept you breathing. Holding onto to one last small respite each time you got close. There's something coming over you. <<silently>>\n<<set$visited_living_room = "yes">><<endsilently>>\nThe living room has a [[couch]], a [[television]], and a black and red [[bike helmet]].\n\nThere is a long string on a wand for [[Cincinnati Jake]].
<<if $visited_Throw_away_trash eq "yes">>There is no food. You at it all.\n\n<<else>>You see a box conataining <<cyclinglink "5 cliff bars" "4 cliff bars" "3 cliff bars" "2 cliff bars" "1 cliff bar" "nothing" end>><<endif>>\n[[Throw away trash]].\n[[Remember]].\n[[Explore]].\n <<if$visited_bedroom eq "yes">>\nYour father told you once that your mom was the happiest he'd ever seen her when she was pregnant. You're so hungry. If there was [[enough]] food, you would have wanted to have a baby. You think you would have been happy, too. You look down at your ribs. You look towards the [[kitchen]].\n\n<<else>>You are [[not]] whole. <<endif>>
<<once>>Jenn was the best friend you ever had, but not vice versa. That's part of the reason you didn't put up a fight. Distance and time kept pulling apart those nights you slept over her house, when you were both 12 and you looked up at the stars and looked into history without knowing it, while your whole life lay ahead of you. \n\nYou loved her more than you loved anyone else. She whistled and sang like a morning bird. She was a miricle, a magic charm that everyone fell in love with. Blessed with light, but able to sympathize with the darkness inside of you. She loved you and you never deserved it. \n\nYou know exactly the [[moment]] you lost her. A gift you treasure. With the rest of them it was anyone's guess. A big mystery you couldn't move on from until they told you. So you could <i>learn</i> from it, and like, improve or something.\n\n<<becomes>>You wish she was here. She was the only person who made you feel like she cared. When she moved away, you let her slip away. You stopped calling. The less you found time to talk, the less you had to say to each other. How could you have not expected her to change? You [[squandered]] everything that threatened to grow. To change. You only like anything when it's easy. <<endonce>>\n\n\n\n
Amanda March
It was a party in high school. One of your first. One of the only times you blacked out from drinking. You were very drunk. Jenn was not. \n\nShe wanted you to stay with your other drunk friend, who was smaller than you and was throwing up. You always hated when people told you what to do when you were drunk. \n\nThat was it. You were just fighting. You can still see the look she gave you. As if you were a new person. As if you were going down a path she couldn't [[follow]].
There is a photograph of [[Jenn]].
There is a void inside you that, once it became self-conscious, fed itself, pulling in passions, friendships and dreams to a black hole so small and deep inside the galaxy of your body that diagnosis, treatment or hope never seemed [[appropriate]].
<<set $visited_Throw_away_trash = "yes">>\nThere's really no need to be so clean. The whole apartment is wrecked. Vermin of every kind. Dirty dishes left by whoever abandoned this place. \n\nThere's not enough food to waste your energy on something so pointless. \n\n[[Explore]]. You can't believe you still care about this shitty planet and all the human garbage still suckling off of it. But when you heard the radio announcement begging for [[volunteers]] you started lacing up your boots. <<once>>The people are starting to go hungry. There isn't enough food for the over-populated world. People are going to starve. Society is going to collapse. And eventually, those rich Blake Ellington IIIs and Burkley Reginalds are going to run out of food stores. They're probably not all useless, but if the fate of humanity rests upon them, you shouldn't hold your breath.\n\n[[2034]]\n\n<<becomes>>You know how this story [[ends]]. \n\nCincinnati Jake is an animal. He's going to eat you when he gets hungry [[enough]]. Who will keep his hairless body warm, then? \n\nOr you're going to have to kill him. What will you spend most of your day touching then? <<endonce>> <<if$visited_couch eq "yes">>\n\nHe had the softest kisses. CJ stretches into a downward dog pose and hops up on your chest. He lays in the crook of your arm and your chest. \n\n[[Pet]] Cincinnati Jake. \n[[Explore]] the house with CJ.\n\n\n<<else>>Bart took your virginity. You gave it to him. You didn't want it anymore. He was a slut so you knew he'd be the least disappointing of the dumb fucks you knew. \n\nYou loved fucking him. He loved fucking you too. He told you he'd always hunger for you, after you stopped dating and kept fucking then stopped fucking, after everything between you was ruined, after everything inside of you looked like the wasteland outside of your window now. \n\nYou believed him.<<endif>> \n\n<<back>>
[[Remember]] when you were a kid? You'd be watching TV and he'd come in the living room to put his sneakers on.\n\n"Where are you going?"\n\n"Cleveland." \n\nLaconic bastard. It's his fault you're empty. That you don't know how to offer anyone pieces of you.
You try to turn it on, but there's no electricity.\n\n<<back>>
[[Look]] for food. \n\n[[Pet]] Nati J.\n\n[[Sleep]].
<<silently>><<set $visited_die = "yes">><<endsilently>>\n<<if$visited_volunteers eq "yes">>\n"We want you all to sign in," a man in a cage shouted through a megaphone. "We want the future to know the names of the people who died, who gave their life so they could exist."\n\nThere was a wave of mumbling through the crowd. Then someone shouted. "Just don't fuck it up again!" \n\nYou walk up to the cage with the megaphone man. "Hey. This is Cincinnati Jake. Will you take him?"\n\n"Miss. That cat is dead." \n\nYou blink at the man and tuck CJ back under your arm. "You've always got something to say." \n\nYou can't help but feel like he's [[sabotaging]] you. The [[face]] you're making is because we're beasts. \n\n<<else>>He would say, when he was your age, that he probably didn't have much longer to live. Your father didn't know how much this hurt you. But he was right. A smoker. A compuslive candy eater. He died shortly after, in his fifties. He was the last of his own family. You hope your [[brother]]'s still alive. He was always much better than you. He should be the last one. <<endif>>
<<once>>You've always felt like there was something [[missing]] in you. \n\n<<becomes>>You think you'd feel sorry staring down the barrel of the end of the world after squandering every worthwhile thing in your life. This would be the case, if it weren't the exact reason you squandered everything. \n\nIt was all just too much. People worried themselves of trivalites. Always obsessed with some dream. Trying to prove themselves, trying to get you to like them. \n\n<<becomes>> Maybe you were just afraid of looking stupid.<<endonce>>
You always knew. \nThat's what you like to tell yourself, when you're sitting in your [[flat]], petting your hairless cat, [[Cincinnati Jake]]. \n\nYou say it like it's reasonable, like it's an excuse for every contact you've severed, every bridge you've burned, every oppurtunity [[squandered]].
You can still remember the rubber smell of those drug store masks. The taste of stale candy corn. \n\n<<back>>
In an objective, natural selection kind of way, being a hording greedy prick obsessed with accumulating wealth and secruity is a good look. \n\nYou were never very stylish.\n\nYou know they're just delaying the [[inevitable]]. The .01% won't last long without you. \n\n<<back>>
The face you're making is so beautiful because we're doomed.
He remembers looking out the back of our old station wagon, as my father drives away. He remembers my mother chasing us down our grandmother's street, crying. \n<<back>>
As in famine. As in the value of human life has dramatically declined. As in say goodbye to fancy cheese. \n\n<<back>>
<<if $visited_couch eq "yes">>\nToss and turn on the narrow stained couch. You try to sleep but instead you think of [[Bart]].\n\n<<else>>[[dream]]\n\nWake up. \n[[Explore]].\n[[Pet]] Cincinnati Jake.<<endif>> <<if$visited_volunteers eq "yes">>CJ's seen better days. You hope he's not dying. You silently thank him for never once trying to eat you. You know you wouldn't have survived this long without him.\n\n<<else>>Cincinn. CJ. Nati J. He's your only [[friend]]. Big fleshy ears and round lemon eyes, you spend most of your day touching him.<<endif>>\n\n<<back>>
<<if $visited_bedroom eq "yes">>\nShe was always [[happy]]. Or at least that's what you like to try to remember. She was sent away to a psych ward right after she had you. Your brother remembers [[this]]. You do not. Maybe the memory is [[missing]], or maybe you threw it out.\n\n<<else>>You always thought you'd end up looking like her, but the last time you saw her she was fat. Huge bloated belly popping out from under her shirt while she watched her fish tank. \n\nYou moved away. Then she died. Then things were falling apart. \nYou're jealous of her sometimes. You've always wanted to be dead. \n\n<<back>><<endif>> <<silently>><<set$visited_volunteers = "yes">><<endsilently>>You leave your house. And you see skeletons in the street. Ghosts. You think how you never appreciated [[Halloween]] enough. You're still holding [[Cincinnati Jake]]. You've been holding him for so long that you can't let go. \n\nBy the time you get to the YMCA, you are [[happy]]. Maybe dying is all you ever wanted. \n
\n<<if \$visited_Ken eq "yes">>Ken is kissing you with the musky odor he carries in his mouth. You can't believe you still remember it. But your own mouth smells bad. Like chocolate after taste. Ken stops kissing you. There are kids with frisbees breaking windows beyond the grass you both lay in. You talk about how this is a bad idea. How this never goes anywhere. Probably for a good reason. \n\n[[Remember]] once he told you that you deserved to be happy. You are [[happy]]. Happy you never let him close enough to know that you don't. \n\n<<else>>You're lying in the grass with a dark haired boy. You make out for a while, but you know your breath is really bad. He doesn't care that much, but you stop. There are young kids playing frisbee to your right. They hit a window and you and the dark haired boy stare at the jagged pieces of broken glass. You decide that you shouldn't be together. \n<<back>>\n<<endif>>\n\n