In the Stall

It was a few weeks into the end of the world. People were gone. I walked through an abandoned subway station, big letters on the wall said WELL OF SWEAT. Funny, I did not remember this station before the end of the world.

There were papers scattered everywhere, colorful opera brochures and discount coupons for canned pees that nobody could use now that all stores were permanently closed. A teddy bear with its head sown on backwards. How weird.

The light above the entrance to the men’s room flickered. It was one of those caged lights. A light inside a rusty cage, a little cruel, I thought. I entered.

The men’s room was clean, it did not smell of urine. The light was dim and depressing, my face in the mirror showed every wrinkle and every zit. My hair was a mess. My clothes felt strange, those were not my clothes. Somebody gave a sigh in one of the stalls.

I knocked on the door.

“Hello,” I said, “I did not know anybody else was alive. Are you alright in there?”

“I guess I am,” said the man sadly.

“What are you doing in there?”

There was no response.

“What are you doing in there?” I repeated.

“I guess I am hiding from the end of the world,” he said.

I nodded and walked out of there, across the station, up the stairs into the crisp air. To face the end of the world. At least one of us should.

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