I grew up in an era exemplified by fear, paranoia, and gender confusion. Monsters that played out on television every evening. As a child, I went sleepless well into the night, burdened by my impending doom. Missiles, in far off Russia, were pointed at me and my family, and could arrive in forty-five minutes. Violence was spreading out from the cities and the political climate suggested that within ten years Americans would be living under martial law, with tanks thundering up and down the streets and booted soldiers stomping our sidewalks, playgrounds, and schools into dust and twisted aluminum poles. It was apparent to us all that a truly kick-ass Robocop/Terminator future was coming, and we all had to arm ourselves and patiently await the forthcoming civil, class, and race wars.
But one thing frightened me worse than anything else.
They were the cause of many a shock awakening in the night, or panicked hollering for my grandmother in the a.m. They were in movies, on television, on radio, everywhere. Hiding in plain sight. Some, you could keep an eye on, because they were famous, appearing in MTV videos or touring in front of millions of fans. These were the most dangerous ones because they drew in the youth, corrupted them, prescribing them a means, through music, by which to attain dark powers. They could be anyone – your neighbors, your friends, even your own parents. If you were a responsible person, you never trusted anyone completely. NOT ANYONE.
So subversive were these demons, so cunning, so degenerate, that they could enlist you into their evil legions without you even knowing it. Who were they, you ask? These defilers on innocence. Murderers of all that is good and American. I think you know who I mean.
When I was a child, every unsolved murder that occurred was possibly, even probably, associated with this nefarious Church of Satan. Every child that ran away from their boring, indifferent parents and disappeared into the wilderness of urban backstreets and blurry milk carton renderings, was simply the latest in a near infinite line of innocents lost to the dark one.
In DRAGNET, one of my favorite movies at that age, the film’s heroic cops, played by Dan Aykroyd and Tom Hanks, deal with a pagan cult that sacrifices young women. This movie had an ameliorating effect on my acute case of 80s paranoia. I saw those hated satanists defeated by a stalwart police force. The entire enterprise brought down, its followers shot dead, its leadership arrested. It calmed my fragile, young heart to see that forces of darkness could be beaten back, making the world that much safer for me and anyone else who mattered as much as I did. One night, after viewing the film, instead of retiring for the evening, I got thrown a curve ball.
Following a viewing of Dragnet on vhs, later that night, a cable station aired a movie I'd never heard of. It was called Never Too Young To Die. The film opened up with what looked to my eleven-year-old eyes like the kind of ritual I'd just seen in Dragnet. But as this movie's ritual continued, I noticed the differences. There was nothing comical or cute about these satanists(not to mention that they weren’t satanists, to begin with). There were no goat-legged pants, or gigantic digital sign flashing P.A.G.A.N. - People Against Goodness And Normalcy, a beacon that marked their deviance, their exception from us, the good, as obvious as day contrasts night.
These people in Never Too Young To Die were dirty, grimy and twisted. Their leader wanted to commit large scale murder, killing thousands, and hold Los Angeles for ransom. He didn't order his minions to do light-hearted things like they did in Dragnet, like shave a zoo lion's head into a punk-style mohawk. Nor did he wear a funny horned mask while shouting out lines of a poorly rhymed prayer. No, no, this...this atrocity. This horrifying scene, taken right from a stage at the center of hell, this must be what it's really like. This was devil worship as it really was. Humanity at its most foul. This was the world that I lived in, not the slapstick, good-guys-always-win world that I wished it could be. To the eyes of an eleven-year-old in the late 80s, this was real life. This was what was really out there waiting for me in the darkness. This was reality.
So, how did I handle this? This cold, harsh vision of what I thought was reality? Well...I wept. I laid my face in the palms of my hands and wept for the state of this world. For the horrible, lonesome suffering of the poor children murdered in these sacrificial rites. For these martyrs, there would be no brave, expedient heroes, like Joe Friday and Pep Streebek, to rush in and save them at the last moment. In this awful world of ours, evil was rampant, wild, and strong, while the good were weak and vulnerable. How could I leave the house and go soaring down the streets on my bike in a world haunted by demons-in-human-form like this?
I might never return home to my mother and grandparents, to my aluminum-sided house with the huge backyard, to my brother and sister, my cats Darby and Gill. Next time, I would most likely be drugged and swept into the back of a white van, never to be seen again, and I would wake to find myself in this living nightmare I was witnessing on HBO. I could see, to my utter devastation, my little Greek grandmother, Nunny, crying just like I was doing now, agonizing over the fate of her grandson, lost forever to the horde of the damned angel.
In 1981, people in Boston started seeing clowns. Clowns in rusted white vans. The myth started off small, as everything does. Soon enough, the entire city was in a state of panic that sparked news stories in the papers and on television. Clowns in white vans were stealing kids right off the street. The panic was so intense, and so 80s, that it expanded out of Boston, then Massachussets, altogether. When the panic reached Pittsburgh and made it to the ears of my friends and I, the clowns had been jettisoned, but the ominous, rusty, white van remained intact. All the kids on my street kept a wary eye out for it. It didn't end in Pittsburgh, however. Today, the rusty, white van is seen as far off as Australia.
So, for our next stop on this tour, we move this story forward about seven years. It's `1995. Perhaps you remember the time? Television is all bland sitcoms. The popular music has loud guitars in it. Suburban people are just discovering tattoos. I'm in the twelfth grade, as much as my uninvested presence could be anywhere. I'm not the skinny kid Arin, who started to balloon in the fourth grade, but the obese, bespectacled, befuddled teenage Arin. The Arin everyone calls 'big guy', and whose clothes bunched up uncomfortably at his ample thighs. My body had changed, but underneath I was still the same over-sensitive dishrag.
Teenage Arin is a decent person. Lazy but well-meaning. He calls his grandmother at night to hear about her day before she goes to bed. He would do so up until dementia caught up to her and she no longer recognized him. He spends most of his time watching television and movies, reading fantasy novels, playing video games, and eating. He claims to want to be a writer, and is sincere in that, but he spends very little time actually doing it(see 'lazy' above). He is weak and craven, but that's part of his charm, I suppose. He has plenty of friends and things to look forward to, even if he is not aware or appreciative of it. Someday, he will have no friends or prospects. He is the perfect mark for madness. His innocence is fertile ground for corruption. He will never see it coming. Nobody will.
Just as when I was a child, I still had a healthy obsession with cinema. Mainstream movies, primarily. I'd seen everything twice. A grizzled veteran of popular films by the age of sixteen. Hearing there was going to be a Goldie Hawn marathon all day Sunday on the Superstation might inspire a fist pump from me in my rocking chair. On a typical weekend, you can bet I'd sat up until two a.m. to finish Bird on a Wire, a microwaved bagel with nuked American cheese on a plate on my lap. I became dangerously tangled up in the narratives of films, switching back and forth from captivated silence standing in the center of the basement living room, watching the ending moments of Field of Dreams like I was witnessing the birth of Christ. Sometimes, my rotund body excitedly contorting on the couch as Schwarzenegger a small island nation’s entire standing army by himself.
I maintained a certain amount of smugness of my elite stature. I made my friends watch my twenty-fifth anniversary copy of The Graduate. When my Latin teacher had the idea of viewing the movie Spartacus in class, I told him I would bring in the widescreen copy I had at home. It was the one thing I ever contributed to that class. I considered myself a kind of holy man, one who could attain a state of religious ecstasy on a bellyful of holy sugar water, the dramatic climax of Backdraft playing on a low quality eight hour cassette. It was as if I was convinced that, when the Rapture came, only the kind of person who'd taped Mannequin off the TNT network, commercials included, would get a pass.
At this time, outside of my private life, my life was mostly about my friends. Wherever they went, I went. The six of us spent our Saturday nights either riding around in someone's car blasting mix tapes or crowded into someone's basement watching new releases and eating chips. We also had Streetfighter 2 tournaments, which I always won. I had spent dozens of hours playing it at the mall across the street from my grandparents' apartment complex, so I was crazy good. Eventually, we started playing poker, which never interested me the least bit. So, when that happened, the couple of us opting out would kick up our feet and dig into whatever was happening on tv, continually nursing the same warm Cokes for the rest of the night. It was just one of these evenings when I first saw the film The Last House on the Left, and my life takes a sudden absurd turn.
I suppose there had been signs that something was up with me. In the previous year, I had developed strange habits. Counting my steps, counting how many words were in a sentence, breathing and blinking in weird patterns. I had experienced these things all of my life, but they had never become a problem until about this time. Now, sometimes, I found I could not stop doing them. It would distract me in the day, redirecting my attention when I should have been listening or paying attention to what I was doing. It would be much worse when I was alone, however. Without the need to hide them from others, my resistance would entirely collapse and they would completely seize control of me. I would lie awake in bed at night, continuously engaging in these patterns until the repetition would overwhelm me, and I would just kind of fall quiet, exhausted like a racehorse. When it was at its worst, it felt like a punishment. These behaviors didn't scare me, however. I acknowledged that something was wrong, but it didn't seem like an emergency. Not yet.
For those of you who have not seen the 1972 Wes Craven film The Last House on the Left, the movie depicts the graphic abduction, rape and murder of two teenage girls. It's doubtful that it was the most disturbing film that I had seen up until that time. Very doubtful. However, had I in fact seen a movie that was worse than this one, I had not been in the early stages of mental illness when I did. I don't remember if I felt anything strange about that evening. If I'd sensed something atypical happening, a kind of extreme sensitivity, it didn't dissuade me from watching. I was a movie guy, after all.
The grungy aesthetic of the film gives it a kind of starkness that makes it even harder to view. It's not cinematic. It's rough. Harsh. It feels like something you should not be watching. Something foul and illegal. Rule breaking. Like when a kid sneaks a cigarette from a pack on his parents' dresser. At first, the girls are being assaulted in a seedy apartment. Then it moves out to the woods, which makes it that much worse, because good things don’t happen in the woods. In a disanalogous edit, the younger of the two girls, Mari, is shot to death in a small pond while her parents are home decorating a cake, preparing for her surprise birthday party. This was the worst moment for me, the one that hurt the most, Mari pulls herself up to her feet, all in a traumatic daze. watching Mari walk to the pond after being raped, climbing into the water in some attempt to cleanse herself, her assaulter lazily aims a gun at her and shoots her dead. Her body comes to drift on the water’s top. It’s the kind of violence one sees in nature. That only animals do. Naked and utterly meaningless.
Later on, the girl's killer mocks her body with delight in front of her father.
"What's your name now, little angel?" he says. "Mari? Mari."
What so shocked me as a teenager, at that time, was how the villains came off so blase about the evil they were doing. That forcing weeping girls to undress in the forest was little more than a way to amuse themselves between fixes. It felt like I was being taught a frightening lesson. Evil doesn't twist a mustache or cackle with glee. Evil is commonplace. It's ordinary. It would witness the depredations in the forest with detachment. It yawns at the sight of such things. The truth is that one person's worst nightmare may be someone else's lunchbreak.
I felt something snap in my brain. For just a second, I was completely awash in something new. It was like that brief moment after you get smacked, but before the arrival of the sting. You know something has happened, but you don't yet know what you're in for. I would have this feeling, again, over the years, but this was the very first time. I looked around, as if I were guilty of something. I realized my bored friends weren't as astonished as I was. I always had this feeling of being the odd man out, but this was different. I was in a complete panic. Filling up with energy, I wanted to run. My hands clenched into fists. I just had to close my eyes, waiting for it to end on its own. Whatever this feeling was, it passed, and I went on with my night as if things were the same. I didn't realize until later that they weren't.
As I walked home that night, in the later hours, nothing felt unusual. I had had a strange experience, that was certain, but I was a teenager, I had new experiences all the time. I mean, in terms of strangeness, was this anywhere as strange as my first ejaculation? That been a strange night. This was nothing like that. This was more like the time, in an attempt to hypnotize myself, I had stared at the ceiling light for a long while. That had ended with some kind of strange seizure, as if I had been electrocuted, after which, I could have sworn, I saw small swirls of smoke ribbons rising up around my head. Although my body was not in motion, as I lay in bed that night, something was hard at work underneath the skin. It felt like there was poison running through my veins, or a stinging acid, and it was doing more than just keeping me awake.
I lay there in stunned silence. Staring up at the ceiling as if I saw something there that could help me survive my first real panic state. It turned my brains into scrambled eggs. This was small-time. A little storm. It was nothing compared to what I would become accustomed to in the future. The intensity was there, though. I gripped handfuls of bed mattress and squeezed the life out of them. It felt like loose rubble had suddenly given way underfoot and I was tumbling over the edge of a cliff. That moment when your arms desperately clawed at the dirt right before you went over. That helpless, frantic second when your hands lost hold, cloying at loose soil and plants. I was frozen in that moment, and it went on for what seemed like an exceptionally long time but was possibly just a few minutes.
For a couple days after, visions of Mari being assaulted and murdered haunted me. It followed me to school. It interfered in my day. When I was eating lunch with my friends, I was fighting off a dread that made me want to fall apart in a weeping mess. I hid my distress from everyone all Monday. I didn’t talk about it to anyone, because I didn’t quite know how to describe what I was going through. I couldn’t make it sound as serious as it was. These feelings weren’t anything like I’d experienced before. They were different than regular thoughts. They were like hot lead weights. I wanted to break down and tell everyone, weeping like some child at the feet of his father.
By the end of the day, the visions of Mari began to fade. By Tuesday morning, it was over with. I was back to normal, but I was left with the niggling feeling that normal itself was not what it used to be. For a moment, I lived in denial, assuring myself this was never going to happen, again. It might even have been some sort of foreign invader to my body which has now passed through me and down the drain. Why not? People believe a lot of stupid things? Why can’t I? Most importantly, I didn’t think it was anything to worry about. I’ve heard of people going through some crazy things. Those people they lock up, who think they are animals or see people who aren’t there. This was nothing like that, it wasn’t even on the same planet as stuff like that.
It was no big deal!
So, we move, once again, forward in time. Before we get to the third, and final, feature of the evening, there are life events that need to be recounted, for quite a lot of time has passed. The year is 2014. I am now thirty-seven years old and living in North Port, Florida. I am Schizoaffective with symptoms of serious OCD and depression. This was a terrible time in my life, but not the worst. I was living in pain, head-to-toe. My joints and back screaming at all times of the day. I had a serious cognition problem, as well, my thoughts always sluggish and unclear, like I was delirious from fever.
Before I attempt to tell the story of insanity, I would point out a problem. Delusions have no mass. They cast no shadow. How does one describe the invisible? If one wants to properly describe a delusion, one can only do so indirectly through the behavior of the afflicted. But to watch one happen is problematic because there's nothing there to see. When a person takes drugs and has a paranoid episode, nobody expects them to be able to overcome the resulting insanity. But when you’re mentally ill, people wonder why you don’t just stop being crazy. Why can’t you just stop? I’ve had a doctor(general practitioner) say something quite similar to this, recently. She suggested that it was like watching a movie, if I can’t take what’s showing, I should just change the station. This remark is what inspired this memoir. I wish I could tell you that insanity is that simple, but it is, to put it plainly, far more complicated than watching a movie.
I want to add some context to this part of my life. At the age of 24, I had a setback. Something happened to me when I took an anti-depressant called Celexa. Something doctors have puzzled over since it occurred. Six weeks after beginning to take the pill, something happened to my brain, something that would ruin my life for the next twenty years. The best way I could describe it is a permanent depression state. A depressive episode that lasted for many long years rather than hours. I lost my job in the catering department in a hospital. In an instant, I went from being a good employee to the worst one they had. I couldn’t keep up in school, couldn’t follow the textbooks or the teachers. I stopped going. My life went on hold, and remained there, largely, until today. I found a couple of people on online bulletin boards in the early 2000s who had the same experience. They committed suicide.
The mental illnesses continued to increase in seriousness as I got older. This was happening on top of the setback. As a result, life began to feel like I was pushing a boulder uphill with an elephant on my back, an elephant that had another elephant on its back. Mornings, when I awoke, I came to consciousness with a multitude of symptoms landing on me like wet sacks of grain, all at once. Sometimes it would simply be too much, and I would lie there for an hour, piecing myself back together as best I could.
Eventually, one night, I swallowed a mouthful of pills. It was the only time I had ever done such a thing in my life. I lay down and waited to die. I did not. Deservedly so, I ended up in lockdown in Bayside Center for Behavioral Health surrounded by burly guards and screaming junkies. I was told not to make any trouble and take whatever meds they gave me. Whatever it was, it filled me with energy I had no way to use. I couldn’t sit still and read the novel and magazine my brother had brought me, or do anything, really. I spent the next three days awake(they eventually took me out of the place on a stretcher, my pulse two-hundred beats a minute)I spent the first night pacing a path from my room, up the corridor, and back, again. The path took exactly one minute to walk. I calculated that if I did it sixty times an hour, I would have to do it just a few thousand times before I could go home. Nobody who worked there objected as I made the circuit, hour after hour. Nobody cared as long as I did what I was told.
While walking by a single room, I saw through a door an old man in tattered clothes sprawled out on a bed. He spoke out loud, as if there were people there with him. He talked at them, and they talked back. I’d put together that he was somewhere around fourteen-hundred years old(his words). As I strolled by numerous times, I concluded that he was fortunate to be insane in the way that he was. If he were not, he would know that he was, likely, all alone in the world, and that nobody was coming for him. That nobody cared. These last few months of his life were going to be very lonely if he was all there, so I wished him very few lucid moments between now and when the time arrived.
Well, as promised, our last feature this evening is the South Korean film Don’t Cry, Mommy. A movie with a few broad stroke similarities to The Last House on the Left. I started watching Korean movies when, by chance, I saw a film by Kim Ki Duk, and I got hooked. South Korean films have a touch of melancholy, and a kind of naivete that can overshoot corniness by a mile. The country is, after all, in its cultural 1950s. As far as this particular film goes, I am recalling it from memory alone. I have not viewed it a second time. I simply don’t run unnecessary risks. So, some of my retelling of the story will be inaccurate, to some degree. However, the account of my reaction to it will be spot on.
The story is about a teenage girl named Eun-ah. She is an outlier a typical South Korean high school. She has a hard time getting along with the kids. Eun-ah meets a boy that she likes, and he invites her on a date. She meets him in an isolated place where he is waiting with a group of boys, bringing him a dessert she made as a present. To her horror, she finds out he has lured her here to be raped by him and his friends. They film the incident as they go. Afterwards, the boys face no consequences for their crime.
In the second act, the boys let Eun-ah know that they have footage of her rape, and that they will be putting it online for the world to see, unless she meets them at a certain place. Eun-ah shows up at their apartment. The whimper she emits as she’s dragged through the front door became a number one hit from the soundtrack of the goofiness that was about to overtake my life. Inside, they surround her, she brandishing a little knife she uses to sharpen her school pencils, swiping at them like a cat at a ball of yarn. The scenes that follow you can experience for yourself, should you choose to do so.
When you are sick in the way that I was, after a dramatic event occurs, you don’t get less upset as time passes, you get worse. Day after day, instead of improving, progressing, healing, you are driven deeper into the dirt. Pretty soon, you start to forget how you got where you are. At first, I brooded over what I had witnessed. Brooded for days. That is how it started. It seemed little more than a distraction. A little depression. A small funk. I was noticeably down, but that’s all it seemed. Over time, however, the brooding changed into something else. It began to spark and electrify, and it came to life like Frankenstein’s monster hit by lightning. Darkness activated. The result was that the rape stopped being something that happened in a movie and started being something that had happened for real. An event that I had witnessed with my own eyes.
It is not easy to describe the state of mind that makes such a misconception possible. How one graduates from notion to delusion is a leap that one makes without any awareness of the gradient. Later on, in the aftermath, whatever that may be, I would often come to an understanding that didn’t contain much wisdom. I cannot say, with any certainty, how to prevent yourself from becoming culpable, by inaction, in a sexual assault that never occurred in any material reality. I thought the boys deserved to die for what they’d done, but I was to blame, as well, and I spent every minute of the day reliving it. Pacing back-and-forth, my head choked with confused thoughts, and my eyes streaming with tears. I found myself online, one afternoon, checking the prices of tickets to South Korea. Thankfully, I had no money. I don’t know, exactly, how I intended to embarrass myself over there, but it likely would have most Americans in the country claiming they were Canadian.
One thing people are not equipped for is permanence. To be crazy for an hour, a day, and then enjoy a respite of any amount of time, is the way it usually works. To be overwhelmed for months, without cessation for even a minute, is not something most people can deal with. In that, I am like most people. As the nuttiness went on, it began to slowly change in character until it became something else entirely. What had become a 3D delusion developed a fourth dimension. The rape changed from something that happened to something that was happen-ing. I’m sure you can appreciate the difference. Now, I found myself trying to rescue Eun-ah while she was continually being assaulted. I could hear her screaming for help or begging for mercy. My heart continuously raced around the clock. It was endless. I would go until I collapsed in a rash of madcap laughter, again. It didn’t take very long for this wear me out.
On one afternoon, I bought some alcohol with the intention of getting drunk and forgetting all of my woes and getting that respite I deserved. However, since the beginning of time, I don’t drink alcohol. I knew, and still know, nothing about it, so I couldn’t have known that the four pack of wine coolers would not do the trick. I drank two on the way home but felt nothing. Wine coolers are not proper fuel for a bender, as I found out. To my intense disappointment, the crazy was still there, filling up all the empty spaces left in my noggin.
On some long days, pacing my room, trying to keep quiet, I would give up and just have to get out of the house to decompress. I would walk for hours, my skin baking in the Florida sun. It wasn’t too long before a large freckle popped up on my left cheek. Sometimes, it seemed like days could pass like this. One afternoon, I woke up standing outside a Walmart, people giving me strange looks. Why? What had I done? What was I doing?
It was simple: I was out in public, talking to people who were not there, and they were talking back to me.
I realized, with the utmost dismay, that I was the old scarecrow in the ward. Or I would be. Someday, I would be. There would come a time that I would be alone. Someday, nobody on earth would care. Nobody would come for me, or notice I was gone. I would be one of those discarded people we all pity when we see them on the street. They become part of the background, a part most people would not miss if it suddenly wasn’t there anymore. I would be tossed onto the rubbish pile and forgotten.
Some people are judgmental on the issue of suicide. Some blame the deceased, declaring them of low character or weak disposition. That suicide is an act of cruelty, not desperation. Not everyone is meant to understand, I suppose. I maintain, and shall always maintain, that running out of steam and giving up are not the same thing. Anyone can run out of steam.
The night I, myself, ran out of steam I was standing in the middle of a lonely country road reading text messages from someone living far away. I had just heard something I couldn’t bear. At another time, maybe, but not now, at this time of major psychosis. The text said that she was getting married. It was, possibly, the worst moment of my life. At that time, anyway. I would have more lows in the future to compare that night with. It was like a hand grenade had gone off in my head. I was all mixed up, and my emotions were flying out of control. She didn’t know what I was going through. She had nothing to do with this world. Last time she had seen me in person, I wasn’t like this. I wasn’t this wretch. She always reminded me that I had been a person, once, and now that was all over.
I set the phone on the road and stepped back from it, as if it had an evil power. I leaned down over the it and reread the text a few more times. I was struck dumb for a few minutes, marveling at how terrible, and huge, the behemoth starting to fill me up was starting to seem. It was accommodating a crazy the size and potentiality I’d never dreamt of. I had never felt more alone in my life, and it seemed like something that was now going to go on forever. After I drew that conclusion, it was inevitable. I had a clear choice: I could face the slow ebb of insanity or I could stop it before it ever came to that. I saw no reason to continue the way I was going. Fear of what was to come was too overwhelming. I started laughing. It was a grotesque sound. It was the cackling of a condemned man. This was the beginning of what would turn out to be months of turmoil and suffering. I had never experienced anything like it, before or since.
It still feels as if I was witnessing it from a distance. Another person, in another universe, watching it on a screen. I watched the person on the screen make a terrible decision. There was not any emotion on his face, he was far too gone. His body acted, as if on its own. In truth, I was in a hurry. A hurry to have it all over and done with. I took a Bic safety razor and cut off the plastic that contained it, snipping it off like I was trimming away the fat. This left the blade exposed and ready to end my life.
I walked out the front door and down the street to a place where there was a small, jungle-like copse of trees between two properties. It had rained earlier, so when I stepped off the road my sandaled feet sank into the mud. By this time, I wasn’t exactly thinking clearly. I was exhausted, body and mind. The skin of my arm in the moonlight was bright white, and my eyes focused on what I believed to be a vein, but it’s more likely that I couldn’t see anything in the dark.
When I drew the razor down my forearm, I had this incredible bump of relief. It felt like this was the punctuation at the end of a sentence. It was the end of everything, the few things I enjoyed and the multitude of things that I could no longer bear. But I was wrong about that, and I knew it watching blood run down my arm into my palm. I realized that this wasn’t the end of this, even if I meant it to be the end of my part in it. My solipsism was cured. And this was something I didn’t know until that very moment. For everyone else involved in this, this wasn’t the end. To everyone left behind, the day isn’t over.
The day goes on.