The World Ended When I Was 17
And then again when I was 71.
EXISTENTIAL THREATS, 1968, AGE 17
- Night terrors.
- Mother was waiting up, when I walked through the front door an hour past my curfew.
- My history teacher offered me an extra-credit writing project, because he thought I was smart.
- The vice principal busted me for my too-short skirt.
- Parents possibly finding out I ditched school to see George McGovern campaigning in town.
- Parents possibly finding out I didn’t apply to any colleges.
- Forgot my lines in my scene for theatre class.
- An offshore drilling disaster covered my neighborhood beach in Santa Barbara with an oil slick.
- A popular boy, who had one thing on his mind, asked me to the prom.
EXISTENTIAL THREATS, 2022, AGE 71
- Night terrors
- Another book insists on being written before I finish the two I’ve already got going.
- My car engine shuts off while I’m driving.
- The possibility of my critique partner replacing me.
- Waking up to discover I still work at the UC Santa Barbara library, typing overdue book fines.
- Flashing lights in my rear view mirror.
- The Missouri thunderstorm I’m caught driving through turns into a tornado.
- Talking too much.
- Not speaking up.