She touches the outside of my arm, between elbow and wrist. For some reason, It reminds me of the Worcester art museum. (Worcester was a city–is a city–in Massachusetts about twenty miles from where I grew up.) I went there once when I was six.

“You’re awake?”


“No you’re not.”

“I am. What?”

She moves her hand. “What do you mean, what?”

I roll over. “Nothing, I mean, what’s up?”

“I had a bad dream.”

I try to open my eyes, one is stuck closed with wine, the other, vodka. My head hurts. Wine is weaker. I peer out at her.

“What happened?”

“It was the end of the world!” she tells me, serious.

I get the other eye open. “Oh? Zombie end of the world or Nuclear end of the world?”

“Neither. I was just in my apartment, waiting to die. And, well, I knew the world would end in ten minutes. Then I would die. Everyone would die.”

“Did everyone die, then?”

She shakes her head. “No. Of course not.”


“No, that would be too easy. I just waited.”

“For ten minutes?”


I put my arm around her, close my eyes. She throws it off. I can’t shrug, so I roll over instead. She slides down close, next to me. She puts her arm on the outside of my arm.

“It was horrible,” she whispers, sleepy.

I try to nod, but I’m already asleep; walking through the Worcester art museum, waiting for the end of the world.


A Writer and an artist living in Russia

20 Comment on “The Worcester Art Museum at the End of the World

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