if the world was ending

24 march 2020, 4:12am.

last night, i lay here wondering if the world was going to end that night, what moment i would want to relive as it ended. 

(late afternoon august sunshine, rereading harry potter and the half blood prince on my childhood living room floor, procrastinating studying for mocks. the view of the new york skyline as my flight begins its descent towards JFK. a stranger’s gushing comment on a fic i’d written. that moment of sinking into one of amma’s hugs, standing in any room of the house, face tucked into her shoulder because you’re too tall to squish into her anymore. the instant of diving into the ocean after painstakingly wading into the icy cold water. the moment two friends made in a layover in germany wormed their way into a story that you will never properly finish. the weight and warmth of a dog’s head on your thigh. a perfect harmony—one worthy of one of alex’s OOH’s which in turn dissolves us all into immediate giggles. the first taste of ava’s cooking when you arrive in india. the hug in the middle of an empty street, late january warmth hanging thick in the air and realising that this is the smell and feel of a safety you’re not sure you’ll ever feel again. mr grumpy’s fish and chips and a foxton fizz. words that make your eyes burn and your chest ache. a perfect full moon. moments of laughter that fill the room with a glow that doesn’t fade and makes you feel at every inch of yourself that this is what it feels like to be alive.) 

tonight, it’s almost 4am. 

tonight, finally, my world has started to shut down after weeks of just holding our breath, waiting for all normalcy to crumble as we watched the storm clouds gathering everywhere else. 

waiting, waiting, waiting.

until today.

today has felt like a week. this week has felt like a year. 

the room is lighter than it should be, either by the moon or by a bright streetlamp finding its way through gaps in a canopy of trees and bushes and ferns. the rain has stopped. the wind is still unrelenting (unsurprising for wellington) but i can’t hear it over the rustling whirr of my dehumidifier. i sit in the dark watching the condensation fade, inch by inch, from my windows. 

today, the world did feel like it was ending, just a little. 

today, the idea of isolation, of 4 weeks (or 5, or 6, maybe months, or years—) of not knowing, was unbearable. what if, over and over again, incredulous and uncertain. and yet… 


tonight, if the world was going to end, here and now, i think maybe the moment i would want to live as it ended would be this one. this 4am moment, wide awake and alone and just waiting for morning, listening to my dehumidifier and watching the wind ripple through leaves and trees and not having to know in any capacity at all what is to come. 

i think that means that (eventually, somehow, maybe) it’s going to be okay.

Featured photo courtesy of author.


In a dream, you saw a way to survive, and you were filled with joy.


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