a Short story by Yetunde Bronson
I had a pretty disturbing revelation the other day: should this world as we all know it come to a loud, and violent end, and we are all left to fend for ourselves, without infrastructure or order, I would be dead within a few days because I have, like, zero survival skills.
This is the type of shit I think about late at night, Fam. Bear with me.
Seriously – I sat up one night and wrote down a list of my skills that could possibly come in handy should the eternal night fall on our world. Here’s what I came up with:
- Whistling: Perhaps I could serve as a lookout for a roving band of thieves. Except I’m blind as a bat without my glasses, so…
- Dancing: I’m thinking like in that set up Tina Turner had in Beyond the Thunderdome. Probably not likely, though.
- Cook: Which is fine if someone has a working stove. Otherwise, I’m useless cuz I don’t know how to start a fire without matches.
I mean, outside of these, I have other, impressive skills that would be rendered utterly useless after the collapse of civilization. This really disturbed me, so I decided to do something about it – I went out and bought some seeds.
For some reason, I decided that out of all of the useful, post-apocalyptic survival skills, gardening would make the most sense for me. It sounded easy enough. I mean, ignore the fact that I have killed 80% of the plant life I have ever touched – a statistic that has been documented by my own mother, who, upon hearing my plans to start a balcony garden, leaned against the wall, weak with laughter.
Keep in mind, my mother is horticulturally blessed by the Ancestors and the Holy Ghost. I have seen her cup a dead (not dying, Fam – dead) plant in her hand, blow on it and watch it shudder back to life. The shit is mind-boggling. So, yeah. I was in my chest when she laughed at me.
“Well, everybody can’t be out here in these streets, resurrecting aloe vera plants and what not,” I said (in my head).
Anyway, I brushed that off and got some seeds. And yeah, I made some mistakes with some of them – planted them too early, watered them too little, crowded too many in the pot.
But I learned. I asked around – co-workers, the exhausted but helpful woman at Stein’s Gardening Center, the nurse at the ER who apparently owns her own farm.
And I tried again. And now, I am seeing the fruits, or vegetables, of my labor.
So, when the zombie apocalypse begins, and you find yourself in the Midwest, come holler at me. I’ll be the dreadlocked sister in the fatigues, trading tomatoes out of a truck.
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