Thursday, December 31, 2009

The End of the Aughts

A sobering look at the first decade of the 21st century, and how it began for some.

Up on the ancient mound of Armageddon, we could see Nazareth to the east, Mount Tabor, and the pass down to the Mediterranean. We were surrounded by, in fact atop the scene of many ancient and terrible battles. It wasn’t for nothing John of Patmos in his cave settled on Armageddon as the place where the world would end. It had been doing that on a regular basis there for centuries.

The sky was afire, blood red and terrible overhead. It looked great, very apocalyptic. But Garo needed someone to <photograph> amid the ancient wreckage of 16 cities, and I needed someone to quote. I caught a flash of black in the corner of my eye, a caped figure bounding across the old fallen stones at some distance.

“Look, it’s the Angel of Death,” I said. “Let’s go get him.”

By the time we ran him down in among some rocks, he had taken the form of a longhaired, heavily tattooed, Bible-quoting car park attendant from Albuquerque. I asked if he was here waiting for the End Times, for the Great Final Battle between Good and Evil. He gave me a look like I didn’t get it, and said, “That’s been going on for some time. It’s going on all around us. You just can’t see it.”

It wasn’t all dark, but it was dark enough.  The fire and the flame were just the beginning, and I fear that the end is nowhere in sight.