To say that things had changed since the dinner plans had been made would be an understatement. A week ago, the world was a different place. The birds were singing. Autumn was taking over from summer. Network TV was kicking off the new fall line-ups of shows that would be cancelled in a month’s time anyway. Baseball was winding down as football was hitting its weekly stride. There were no warnings of alien invasion.
A week later, and the thing you noticed most was that the birds were gone. No singing, not flitting around, no Canadian geese crossing the road up by the subdivision’s pond, nothing. No birds. They had been the first planetwide casualties. We’re still not sure ecologically what that will mean for the future, or why they all succumbed so suddenly, so early in the week. Autumn was still happening – even freakish cataclysmic war can’t stop seasonal change; at least we didn’t think it had, not yet anyway. Network TV was a different beast today, mostly news from what was left, from who was left. Baseball would not end this season. Quite frankly football was not high on anyone’s agenda, though there was talk of re-grouping and reorganizing something with fewer professional teams later, but that was months if not a few years down the road.
Tonight’s dinner party had been synced on google calendars last week, just a night for our group of friends to get together at our house. There were six of us, two couples and one single who was bringing his new friend for everyone to meet. It had grown to three couples and five singles, eleven in all, and that was the way these things typically worked out. It’s one of the things I’ve grown to love about our little scheduled/spontaneous get-togethers over the years. But in a week’s time, the world can change. And our eleven friends and acquaintances getting together for nachos and dinner and a ballgame had morphed into five survivors wondering if the calendar event on their iphones would still be on or not.
Of course it was still on. It had to be, right? Coffee was on, even if the ballgame wouldn’t be. And everyone had something to talk about.