Erik Deckers, author and one of the leaders in our group, Writers of Central Florida or Thereabouts issued us a writing prompt. I usually ignore all such things, but this was so intriguing that I decided to engage with it. Here is his challenge followed by my response.
You are the last person on Earth because reasons. There are no zombies or roving gangs of raiders, so there’s no danger. However, everything is still operational — electricity, natural gas, even gas pumps and refrigerators, because also reasons.
This means you can live anywhere, as long as you can get there.
So, where do you live? How do you spend your days? What do you do for fun? What is your life like?
Unless I did something drastic, I think I would die of loneliness. So I would start moving… riding the biggest baddest motorcycles, traveling over the empty roads. When I needed a break from the bikes I’d travel in fabulous luxury cars and perhaps fancy sports cars. As the roads gradually decayed, I’d switch to rugged all terrain vehicles with maybe a trail bike loaded in the back.
I’d go up to Alaska and then down to the tip of Argentina. I’d crisscross the continents, going from ocean to ocean. I’d see the natural wonders but also impressive human structures even as they aged.
However, before I started the cross country trek, I’d go to the homes of my family and friends and find all their writings, paying special attention to their handwritten journals and poetry. I’d get into their computers and read all their thoughts. I would also find their music and their personal videos—especially the embarrassing stuff. But it would be okay because it would be a way of continuing the relationships with the people I loved.
Then I’d do the same with strangers…. random homes… or perhaps famous people. Just travel to their homes, pick through their stashes, and then plop down in their living rooms to explore their lives.
I’d also study and get to know animals as I traveled. I’d watch them and befriend those I could. I would linger at the seashores because the oceans always seem like living organisms to me, and I’d come to learn about them. Perhaps I could teach myself to scuba dive so I could experience the creatures beneath the surface of the seas.
I’d always continue to search for other humans. Even if I knew there were no others and it was a hopeless quest, I could never stop.
Assuming the internet would fail quickly, I’d use shortwave radios to reach out through the airways and listen for a response. Finally, I would seek out the most powerful telescopes, and I’d peer into the stars at night, wondering if anyone was out there and if they were looking back at me, and I would dream about meeting them.
And I would always keep moving.