Megan L. Robinson
It wasn't the president's fault. Everyone always tries to blame who's in charge, but it's the people who should be to blame. Without the people, the president would not have been elected. Without the people, the world wouldn't be like it is today. The world wouldn’t have lost almost a third of the population to disease and famine. The world wouldn’t be in constant wars over dry land. The world wouldn’t irreversibly fucked.
People are greedy. Greedy and selfish and sinful. People only want what benefits them. Maybe that's why I can't stand other people. I’ve never been a people person. But I'm not entirely innocent myself of not liking the finer things. I used to like those finer, but trivial things, like an $8 cup of coffee, and thought it was my right to have anything I wanted, without thinking of those that went without.
But now look at us, everyone is in the same boat (literally, I think with a laugh). Looking out from my raft, floating with a makeshift tent for protection against the elements, I can only see the top halves of houses, trees, rusting cars. It’s very quiet. I’ve always liked the quiet, but recently it has gotten to me. I think one day soon I will go mad.
I'm leaving my flooded home to search for food and clean water, something I have to do more often. Food is getting harder to find. It's been 11 months, and either people have left on their motor boats to find dry land or they perished in the initial flooding drowning or disease.. Very few still stay around here. I haven’t seen another person in a days. There's no life worth living here anyways. I'm not even sure why I keep trying to survive. I have no one left, no purpose.
The flood came not suddenly, but faster than scientists thought possible. I had been wanting to move out of Florida for a while to prepare for the worst, but it never happened. There was always something that stopped me: money, time, friends, family. I saw the water creeping up a little bit more every day until the road was impassable, then it started coming into the yard. Now when you look at it, the algae is growing into larger clumps. It's hard to breathe from all of the dead creatures floating around.
I wonder what the president is doing now. I'm sure he wishes he could have done something to prevent this destruction, but he is only one man and it's the people who should have made a change. People who only cared about themselves. Fertilizing their green lawns, gassing up their fast cars. People who never tried to minimize their carbon footprints, who thought it would never happen to them or at least not in their lifetime.
I paddle around, scavenging for food and purpose, and looking at all of the destruction the water caused. This is not much of a purpose or a life, but I contributed to this mess too. No one is innocent, and I’m tired, so tired…I think tonight I will let the flood waters take me.
Megan Robinson is a librarian with the Manatee County Public Library System. She loves nature, knitting, and Lord of the Rings. This is her first publication in a literary journal, but not the last.