Sitting out in the car last fall waiting for Diana to step out of the last remaining department store in a dilapidated mall that had been dying slowly for a few short years, it occurred to me that the moment represented the collapse of our nation. This store was closing its doors forever, when the setting sun caressed it in shadows - there would be no returning. Looking over the quiet, dark, and desolate concrete that the encased towering glass opening one couldn't help but wonder what went wrong, for when it happened we were all in the midst of flying head first towards the payment with hair streaming back - there was no halting the terrible fall.
This had mall been just a reflection of the general capital destruction (both material and human) that had been occurring even prior to the "Great Fall" which happened in just a few sharply defined months. Through a combination of factors both inherent to the distorted economic society and symptomatic of the resulting consumption crisis that grew unabated as real wages steadily dropped lights everywhere started their crescendo of darkening.
Shipments gradually declined in response to fuel costs that escalated beyond anyone's comprehension, it was amazing how long the transport carriers survived in the stranglehold of the 'oil trust's' profit inflation but they weren't alone we all suffered greatly. It is a challenge just to find a scrap of food in the remaining grocery stores given that their shipments were some of the first to decline with the tight margins already existing in this industry. One can spend an entire day scavenging for food visiting the few remaining stores close enough to be reconnoitered by bike. Many times your visit is an exercise in futility since most of the shelves have already been cleaned months before. What makes these visits so painful is the starvation that tears at my stomach and the image of the horror filled still eyes of my wife and child. You knew they we're gradually dying only to be pulled a few steps back from the ravine each time you were able to find that last piece of meat sitting lonely in an empty freezer surrounded by a general desolation - a gleaming bone wiped clean by greed.
Our governments did nothing they were the first to be infested years ago with 'body snatched' representatives. The business elite through their lobbyists exacted complete control over these their animated puppet legislators who smiled profusely and gave speeches of reassurance while they reached their right hands under the table to receive the proffered loot. The sickness of greed permeated every heart with its self-righteous platitudes proffering complete justification of evil through the 'Free Market' scriptures. Nothing done to your fellow citizen or nation could be condemned if it was first vetted through careful consultation with the supply and demand horoscope. No matter that the entire economic system was nothing more than a shell of theories corrupted into this mutated hideous core that operated through society to provide for every conceivable desire of the well-connected business elite controllers.
Those of us who attempted to raise the consciousness of our fellow citizens of the coming apocalypse thrust our words, deeds, actions, and souls into an echoing canyon - it seemed no one was listening. Here we are in our homes burning wood in fireplaces or for those without that luxury just a hole carved through our roofs where long shiny metal tubes have been shoved. Most not fortunate enough to still have homes that weren't locked and boarded early on in the foreclosure crush live in cars that have had their insides torn out in order to allow for more living area - some are quite spacious - that is the former 'planet killer' SUV's.
There are some areas that are completely off limits to everyone but these are mostly limited to the special 'corporate operation zones'. Anyone caught within 100 feet of the electric fence of one of these exclusive business zones of operation is shot. Only the cheap labor that they have shipped in from overseas is allowed entrance to the factories or offices on these labor reservations. We have been long ago relegated to surviving on what we can sell (after repair) of the remaining objects that litter the ground and buildings. In fact that was why my wife Diana was making her last visit, to the last mall, and the last operating department store last fall to buy a pan that had been marked down to practically nothing.
After the first onset of oil and commodity profit inflation took hold of most of our available income, stagflation set in taking more, and finally when the business elite realized that they had just about completed their destruction of our nation (also a good part of the rest of the world) deflation pushed prices down escalating our ever faster race to the bottom.
This dusty dirty relic of a home now shelters many of my fellow citizens until the day comes when sanity once again prevails. My wife died last winter - her hope had vanished many months before when we buried our son. God help us.