It was finished. Weeks went by. Then I was having a conversation with a woman in a parking lot. The sun wasn’t quite down yet, and we were both tired. I don’t remember what prompted my question, but I asked her why we were surrounded by dishonest people. She paused for a second, not so much lost in thought as out in space somewhere, and looked at me like I had forgotten her drink order. “Because the world is ending.”
Do you understand?
Two months later. Different town. Late at night. Grocery store. I was checking out. A man with an acoustic guitar staggered into line behind me. He handled the guitar like an angry boy handles a splintered baseball bat. He was anywhere from 25 to 40 depending on the severity of his life choices. It was my suspicion that he could not play the guitar, a suspicion he immediately verified when he started clanging away at a G chord as fast as he could. The guitar wasn’t just out of tune. It was beyond tuning.
I went outside to wait for my brother. I idly scrutinized the kiddie ride, which was extremely dusty but had very deliberate handprints on every corner of its plastic umbrella. The ride was unplugged. A woman doing her best to stay invisible had unplugged it to charge her phone. I paced around looking for my brother’s car, and the guitar player barreled out of the store empty-handed. She must have been his girlfriend, because they kissed each other on the mouth. Then he asked her a question as loud as he could.
“Has she been abducted by aliens yet?”
Do you understand yet?
Last weekend. Midnight. I’m on the back patio. Total blackness. Then blue light is everywhere. There’s something happening in the house behind me. Things breaking. A police officer starts talking through a megaphone. “Come outside,” the police officer says. “Follow our directions.” “Come outside.” “We don’t want anyone to get hurt.” No audible response from whoever was inside the house.
“Use your phone to dial 911 or just come outside.”
“We worry about you.”
“We worry about you.”
I go inside. An hour passes. The sound of more cars arriving, more blue light, no sirens. Then there was a helicopter. An unidentified male voice, not on a megaphone, says “they’re setting up a perimeter.”
Then for a long time no noise rises above the sound of the helicopter. Finally I hear the harsh and faraway crack of a shot from a rifle.
Unidentified male voice again. “He might have made it out if he ran before they set up the perimeter.”
A few minutes. Another shot from the rifle. A few minutes. Another. A few seconds. Four, five, six, seven, eight shots. Half an hour. The shots are coming from the train yard. Nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen shots. The next morning I hear the perpetrator made it to the liquor store. It was within the perimeter.
Do you understand now? How clear can I make it? Do I have to say it outright?
What I’m saying is that my Big Bang Theory spec caught the attention of The A.V. Club.
I thought the story was finished. But over the summer, after events like these, it became clear that it was not finished. Work remains for the California scientist named Leonard and the California scientist named Sheldon. People have demanded it. But I cannot repeat myself. I must have a larger story to tell. Luckily, I do. Earthquakes. Floods. The collapse of the earth upon itself. Two scientists drenched in sin, ready to be destroyed by the swift hand of God.
So I prepared a teaser page to suggest the increased scope of my project.
Then, when The Big Bang Theory returned to the airwaves, I began telling my story in earnest. As you can see, it is a direct follow-up to my last Big Bang Theory story.
I will post the story every Monday on Twitter, sometimes more often, whatever it takes to tell this story right, and save the ending for whichever publication needs this story most, whichever publication needs truth most.
People don’t understand though. They don’t understand why anyone would embark on so frivolous a task. They don’t know. They don’t see that chaos is taking over, that people are losing their minds, that the world is ending. I embark on my frivolous task because all tasks are frivolous when what waits for us is doom. We must hold on to our frivolous things when the world is ending.