I Am Not Legend
Imagine yourself as an average man living a basic life with a normal family in a medium-sized town. You eat more than you should, exercise less than you should, work a standard 9-5 job, golf with your buddies on the weekends, argue with your wife, tuck 2.5 children into bed at night, and drink a few beers now and again. Then, suddenly and without warning, those things are no more. Your friends, your job, your children, your wife, and your life. Gone. You are, in fact, the last man on earth. It doesn’t matter why. It just is. So now what? Do you, as the last man on earth, emulate Will Smith’s behavior in I Am Legend via attempting to keep yourself healthy and in shape? Do you develop a strict daily routine to assist you in defeating feelings of loneliness and despair? Do you maintain a hopeful attitude by lending credence to the possibility that there are other human beings out there somewhere? Or…Not? I begin to wonder what the hell I would do under those circumstances. I imagine that for the first few years I’d live cleanly, rising each morning to a vitamin/fiber/essential fatty acid-enriched protein shake before hitting the gym for many hours of weight-lifting, swimming, jogging, and yoga. That I’d eat my lunch of quinoa, fish, and vegetables while reading, thinking, and carefully recording my thoughts and feelings in a journal. That my evenings would be spent preparing wholesome, complicated meals with a wide variety of exotic ingredients. That I’d tend to my insomnia with movie-watching and additional introspection. That, at the end of the day, I’d be healthy, balanced, and focused. And I would be. For a while. But after so many years of that routine I’d be waking up to platters of deep-fried cheddar-stuffed jalapenos and frosty mugs of potent ale. Lunch would be something like barbecue chicken pizza, double thick Oreos, and lots of wine. I’d snack of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and every damn flavor of Dorito, chased with appalling amounts of Jaeger and Red Bull. And for dinner I’d go the quasi-upscale route; maybe a bunch of garlicky escargot, buttery goose livers, beluga caviar, and a few cans of smoked oysters tossed onto some cheddar-flavored Sunchips and drowned with Tabasco sauce. I’d be sick, fat, and drunk. My journal would disappear and I sure as hell wouldn’t make it to the gym. I’d probably stop thinking altogether. But as the last man on earth, I’d die like a true American, damn it.