The only thing that encourages me about the current disastrous global environmental crisis is that it confirms what I have always known: Even though the situation might be critical right now, things will eventually get much worse. Indeed, if there is one thing I have always known with absolute certainty it is that no matter how stable and secure the world might seem, in the end, everything will disintegrate and fall apart. And the end is not far away.
For as long as I can remember, I have imagined the present as leading towards an inevitable collapse. When I was younger, I would often try to picture myself as a middle-aged man and I would usually end up with an image of a weak and pathetic alcoholic who had lost everything that he loved and cared for because of his egoistic drives and uncontrollable vices. As I have grown older and my life has stabilised somewhat, the dystopian undercurrent moves at a slower pace and for longer and longer periods of time, it has been almost unnoticeable. Except during the days of post-drunkenness anxiety.
It is a weird and almost omniscient feeling to know that you are rapidly moving towards the downfall. Before I got a regular job, I was absolutely convinced that my wife and children would all end up living in a cardboard box in a dirty alley somewhere. And eventually die of starvation, of course. All because I would never be able to get a permanent job anywhere. And probably also because I would end up surrendering to vices that would ruin our family. They hadn't really asserted themselves yet but I was convinced that they were there. If I was ever in doubt, I would take one look at my father. He died as a weak and pathetic alcoholic. Once in a while my wife would gently remind me that she was also capable of making a pretty substantial contribution to the household income. For the shortest moment, I would listen to her words and momentarily understand that, of course, she was right. But as soon as I turned to my own dystopian thoughts, the truth contained in her gentle reminder disappeared.
When you are convinced that the world is soon going to end, you are more at ease with chaos than you are with order. I have always felt a strange kind of satisfaction when things were not going well. Because in those situations, the order of the world as I imagined it to be was in perfect alignment with the actual state of things. It is much more stressful and troublesome when things are going well. Because then the signposts that you normally use to orient yourself by are harder to identify. You still know that the Apocalypse is looming but it hides itself surprisingly well beneath the calm surface of regular everyday life.