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We make love under the sun in our gas masks; I watch her skin turn pink, then yellow, as I ravish her, as we are ravished by our angry atmosphere. She climaxes and I observe a blister forming on her shoulder and I hustle us inside, me not finished, but we’re finished, into the de-toxicizer: industrial revolution, love yet and still.
It’s funny, we were survivalists. The thing about survivalists is, it often makes it harder to survive. After the revolution, they gassed the forest and they mutated the local biosphere. Once we came out, we realized we couldn’t leave; our gas masks won’t last that long, although we can recharge them in the basement.
There’s something erotic about the disaster; it makes me think of the nature of evolution, always in fits and starts. It’s when the big asteroid comes that people start fucking each other big time, ready for the next mutation. That’s what our little ancient cousins did, once the dinosaurs were through. We were ready for the next stage: “I wanna be big.”
The trees emit bright-coloured gas, so does the ground. It’s like everything is bleeding. We’ll run out of food in a year, but I can hardly think about that now, what I think about is my wife’s body, her beautiful body, I want it to turn colours, I want to meld like a Vulcan into the mind of the angered earth, I want to steam.
The evolution of the breast, what a miracle that was. Unlike the echidna that just squeezes milk right out of its pores; it’s not too particular where, sans nipple as it is. The breast, specialized, eroticized, portable, shy, but dignified, like an old Vaudeville star, delivering the footwork even after the audience is dropping into their grave, the breast endorses a reality unlike the one we’ve found ourselves in. Now the echidna would be better: redundancy is king in a toxic atmosphere, because you never know what might drop off next.
“You didn’t cum,” she says, drying off with the allergen-free towel.
“No,” I say, knowing that she won’t help me sans toxic air, we both seem to need it now, like fucking in public, fucking under the eye of the angry god of Chemical Freedom, Better Living Through Chemistry, GE inside my wife’s twat, and Dupont in my brain forever, it’s gonna be okay.
“I’ll make tea,” she says, and I watch the colours swirl outside the bunker.
The clean-up crew came the following month. Like a toxic avenger set to stun, wading into the peepshow booth, long after all titillation is through, murmuring to themselves in their moon suits.
I wanted to cry, and not with joy. It was the end.
We couldn’t do it after that. I’d pour her a glass of wine, and put on some music, in our new apartment, under the artificial ozone generator, above the ruins, but it wasn’t the same, it could never be, and so I left before she would, I knew it was over.
I paint now, in watercolour, I watch the disaster from the windows, and we’ve got a lot of windows, the government doesn’t want us to forget where we’re at, and what we’ve done, and the beauty of it is so tantalizing, and that is the word, you see, Tantalus, who ate the flesh of his own son, albeit by accident, and was condemned to Hades to always see the grapes and never be able to reach them, that’s me, looking down on the cross-breeding mutant heaven, a horrific hard-on in my pants, but only my brush to keep me sane, I paint.
My wife takes other lovers; we don’t bother with a divorce, most have dispensed with marriage altogether in our hermetic community here, there are only 400 of us. But I know it will never be the same for her either, and this gives me a strange joy.