Considering the world was ending, everyone seemed to be getting along rather well.

This Saturday morning on an empty street in small-town Texas wasn’t out of the ordinary, except people weren’t just slow to rise; they were gone. Or so I concluded in my quasi-omniscient status as the dreamer-god. I seemed to have slept in my car, some sort of SUV. I felt well-rested, not exhausted by zombie evasion, so as end times go things didn’t seem so bad.

The whole group was gathering in a vacant lot just up the road. It was the middle of downtown, so all the antique shops and hole-in-the-wall real estate offices were around us, silent and devoid of life. A couple of small trees were in the mostly grass-and-gravel yard. An accidental city park. I was parked on the same block, maybe a couple of hundred feet away.

An interesting group of people were showing up, some driving in from somewhere else, others walking down the street. The leader of today’s meeting seemed to be the wiry guy in the linen shirt and wireframe glasses. Bushy gray hair, kind of combed back but not in a fussy way. Think Ed Begley, Jr., except not so crazy. There was a whiteboard set up in the park, and Not Begley, Jr. (NBJ) was scrawling on it with purpose.

Coming down the sidewalk on my left was Hipster Guy with Fancy Rectangular Glasses, and without even seeing her I knew somewhere nearby was a Hipster Girl with Identical Fancy Rectangular Glasses; I must have already met them. A nice couple, married long enough to be comfortable but not so long they felt tired. Soon we were all gathered around NBJ’s scrawlings on the board, trying to make sense.

NBJ had developed his own visual language and taxonomy, using vague Visio-like shapes and a custom shorthand we were all expected to understand. He was outlining everyone’s roles in the new society: who was farming, who was building, who was administrating. Everyone acted like they understood and agreed with the plan.

I looked around, and realized everyone was a hipster. Everyone but me. They all had eyeglasses with thick frames and flip-flops on their feet. Casual khaki shorts and loose-fitting button-down shirts, untucked and casually rolled up their forearms. Skinny jeans. Why was I here, with these people? These were not my people.

Then I woke up, without learning how the world was ending, or why.

A nerd in a Darth Vader t-shirt amidst the hipsters of the apocalypse.
These are not my people. Illustration by Derek Giromini

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