Apocalyptic Date Idea #126 by Julián Martinez

What if we kissed in the McDonald’s drive-thru, when it snowed, all the bushes looking like the Flurry machine exploded but it was okay, it was costless, money didn’t exist, we were in a post-apocalypse with a quarter tank of gas and empty bellies and trembling lips and you and I called “hello?” so many times it seemed like language didn’t exist anymore— it used to, we could tell by the black box with red text flashing PLEASE ORDER HERE next to the LED menu someone had to be generating electricity for, if not then we’d die as the warmth waned in our arms with only an hour or so left, I don’t know I’ve never died before, I’ve tasted juicy perfection which I hear is known as a little death and that was what living was like right before the Internet and the power and the money disappeared— every day, a little death. And just as restless as in those days, we shouted at the walls of brutalist technicolor then turned and pressed the hunger held in each other’s lips together— just like before, as if nothing had ever happened, a voice that sounded like cigarette ash sighed, “good evening, can I take your order?”


Julián Martinez (he/him) is the son of Mexican and Cuban immigrants. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in HADMaudlin HouseRejection Letters and elsewhere. Find him online at www.martinezfjulian.com or @martinezfjulian, or IRL in Chicago. His favorite hex piece, at least at the moment of typing this, is “My Dog Is A Cat” by Xavier Garcia. That one’s a doozy.