Chapter 0:

November 21, 2102

Hypoxia of the Heart

Why, of all times in history, did my birth have to occur in this period of time? I ponder this thought during these empty days, doing only what’s necessary to survive. Checking in with Naita relieves the sickness that is my thoughts but it is no cure for what ails me. If the choice were mine I wouldn’t be here, but here I am some miles from what was Kamloops city. I would much rather choose to either be with Naita in Thompson, Manitoba, or for both of us to live in an era before everything went to hell.

An era where your oxygen intake was not a thing to worry about, where you didn’t have to measure and reduce your intake, or fill up wearable oxygen tanks so that you could ensure that you lived another day. Where you sleep most the day in the Mobile Home as it’s Oxygen Circulation system does it’s work to preserve you, and you only wake to do necessary repairs or labor. In an environment like this you’re always aware that each breath brings you closer to your last and each day only delays the end.

Apologies, I may have gotten carried away. Naita often tells me I get too carried away in thinking, and that to survive I shouldn’t stare in the abyss but rather look forward to something tomorrow. To live life. It’s said the unexamined life isn’t worth living but it’s also true that the unlived life isn’t worth examining.

I would travel to go see her but I am not sure I would make it and it would mean severing contact with her for days or even months. Any unnecessary exertion of energy in this heavy atmosphere can be deadly due to the percentage of it being much lower than years past.

Where is everyone else you may ask? Simply put, anyone around today without access to a steady supply of oxygen would be having trouble keeping alive. The sick and those with lung problems were the first to pass on. Large animals as well. Before the world knew what was going on we were on a course for utter destruction.

I was a college student at the time. My friends. My family. We tried to make it work by setting up our own communities to separate from the chaotic cities but it couldn’t sustain us all. Month after month there were fewer and fewer of us. Until it was just my Mobile Home and I left.

Why? Why did they have to die? Naita tells me that question isn’t mine to ask. Without her I know I’d be totally lost. I really wish I could see her now, to be with her. Maybe then I’ll know why all this had to occur. These endless sacrifices. Of lives. Of livelihoods. Of lifestyles. Anything to continue onward.

Back and forth my mind races in time, anything to be away from the present I surmise. Yearning for the good days I both have and haven’t experienced, and longing for a day that may never come. Lost in thoughts and thinking, lost in time.

Thinking has become wearisome to me now so I perhaps should rest before the sun rises. Night is better for my daily routine of maintenance, less oxygen gets consumed. Sending a message to Naita might be a good idea to brighten the day waiting for her. Only wish I could see that smile on her face. I just know seeing that would be a sight to freeze all of time.

Taylor Victoria
Joe Gold