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Go Out Doing Something Noble

I was in the army for 8 years.

I put myself through sixteen weeks in Hell at the Infantry School in Georgia. I was eaten alive by mosquitoes the size of your average USB thumb drive in the swamps of Louisiana. I froze in the unimaginable cold in Germany, and I ruined my body as a Paratrooper.

And this was all outside of Iraq.

I’ve been shot, stabbed, and blown up. I’m not trying to get sympathy or praise, I assure you. The point I’m trying to make is that I sympathize with the protagonist of this book, because if I was willing to sacrifice so much of myself for a country who only gives their soldiers lip service, why, in what would no doubt be the worst and final event in human history, would I not want to continue on?

What would be so wrong by making sure that if we were all about to die, there would be just a tiny sliver of dignity left behind?

I would take to the streets, and defend the people as best as I could in the short time I’d have left. In a time like that, there would be crime on a scale we couldn’t even imagine. People would need protection. I thought, in Iraq, that I was going to die for my country.

God willing, I’m going to die an old man with my family there to send me off. But if this situation would come to pass, I think it would be good to go out doing something noble.

Josh Perez is a Graphic Designer from Austin Texas. He spent 8 years in the US Army, spending 39 months total in Iraq. He lives in Austin with his two sons and his dog Goldie. Photo via (http://bit.ly/TXo6HB

Posted by Josh Perez

To Brie Or Not To Brie: Sarah Sol’s Thoughts Regarding The Apocalypse

The apocalypse isn’t exactly cocktail party banter.

Posted by Sarah Sol

Hanging On To Civilization and Humanity, For As Long As I Possibly Can

I’ve been answering the End of the World question for years.

One usually first confronts it around middle school. Without probing too deeply I realize that I had never really revised my answer since that time. A voice from the Id, something along the lines of: “Yeah! I want a seraglio full of Penthouse models all dressed in hooker costumes, and all the chocolate chip cookies in the world!”

Posted by Trav S.D.

The End of the World Used to Seem So Cool

The end of the world used to seem so cool. I’d get to go days without shaving, acquire a cool long coat, and sleep on a cot next to pallets of canned soup and a loaded shotgun. Plus, everyone would dress like the Legion of Doom. What’s not to love?

Then I had kids.

Posted by Jeff Ryan

The Last Piece of Pie

If I was to die in six months
awaiting the collision of an asteroid,
I could cry with everyone or wait
to die with everyone or
check Facebook and Twitter. I could run away
to another place, hope for another fate, but

I would think about Leaves of Grass.
And the dirt on the bottom of one’s boot.
I could search for the songs of myself.
Reflect on what I have left –

Behind me there are trees that
I thought touched the sky.
I believed falling stars
were angels flying in the night,
following other stars that lost their way or went too far –

No. I’d think about how I found love
in a city and held hands with him running
through the rain drunk with dreams that may never come true.

Or I’d think about what I’d miss,
the whiskers of my rabbit rubbing against my arm.
The temptation of wrapped gifts waiting under the tree.
Some nights lying on the carpet tanning in the moonlight.
I’d fight to keep my sanity, but knowing me,

I’d pack my bags, head to Iceland
with my better half and bake pies.
Because who wouldn’t want to sit on
a black-sanded beach eating buttery-flaky crust filled with
seeping strawberries, topped off
with airy-whipped cream?

After mastering the art of pie,
if you ever wanted to stop by and help me
think of a slogan like
Best Slice of Pie Before You Die, or
Pie to Die For…
I’ll trade your advice for a slice and
we can watch the sky fall together.

Melissa Gregoli is a poet from New Jersey. Follow her on twitter (@orange_soda) and visit her blog (msallaneous.tumblr.com). Pie photo via http://bit.ly/P2XxvA.

Posted by Melissa Gregoli

Six Months to the End of the World. And That’s Miss Strangelove to You

Six months remain until the world’s end,
Which means there is no time to play games here.
There are feelings to eat and rules to bend
While people run out to buy Pop-Tarts and beer.
I’d head to the beach to enjoy the sun.
Pants would be banned ‘cause my ass would be tanned
And sitting next to a certain someone
While our entwined fingers graze the sand.
Before our incendiary ending,
I’d sing every song that played in my heart,
Without doubt, fear or judgment ascending
In my throat to stifle the shaky start.
I’d stop making jokes to mask how I feel
Because regret shouldn’t be my last meal.

Erica Nardello is a writer and marketing professional living in Philadelphia. Follow her on Twitter (@ericanardello) and visit her online at www.ericanardello.com

Posted by Erica Nardello