• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 01

The Hindenburg World (Our Future in the Skies)

Must have been the early eighties when I first heard the match strike, the first call to action. Admittedly my memory has been stretched much too thin, though it must’ve been close to the Iron Lady’s arrival at Number Ten. I was a much younger man then. Stronger, forward thinking; the way everyone needed to be when the recession took what it did. Everybody lost their livelihoods back then, bleeding pieces of themselves daily, like a coin purse with a frayed hole in the bottom. Millions of us, my wife included. My old Dot. No jobs and too many mouths to feed. That was when I first realised: the whole world’s a Hindenburg awaiting immolation, a miscalculation away from catastrophe.

‘The world’s filling up,’ I had told my Dot. ‘Lightening fast.’

She understood my concerns but refused to make it a conversation. Didn’t help anything, she’d tell me. Rightly so, I’d say, though it didn’t take long for the problem to grow too big to overlook, for concern to do its work like it had done on me. Was probably when our firstborn arrived that the spark of fear first flared in her eyes, or perhaps when she beheld the world we were bringing him into.

He did just fine, our boy. Has a family of his own down south, probably feeling how I did four decades before. Makes me wonder how my father would’ve coped in this time of cables and unsocial society, of hunger and wool covered eyes. Then again, he wasn’t much of a thinker, nor was he one to worry about his children’s future. He had concerns greater than plastic farms and plastic oceans, bigger than living in a time that isn’t your own.


The Hindenburg World (Our Future in the Skies)

Of course I could never’ve known how bad it would get; hindsight’s twenty-twenty. People produced like newsprint and canned goods, manufactured at a rate with which we can’t possibly manage, shoving us towards the fringes of whatever land remains. It’s only a matter of time. People never learn. Soon we’ll be pushed over into the indomitable oceans, only to seek refuge in the skies, the infinitely finite blue. And on these strange machines—canvas butterflies carrying what it can, parachuted sailboats, and leaden blips branded by the last remaining Amazon—we’ll float and bloat and spill over. People never learn.

But I’m little more than an old man rambling about a future I’ll never see. My old Dot was spared of what the world became, what it’ll become for the future generations, which is something, I guess. Maybe once those flying ships drip not with water but with people, it’ll be a wake up call.

Maybe not. The match has been struck on our Hindenburg world. I’ve heard the sandpaper scratch and deadly fwoosh. I’ve seen the white spark and felt the coming heat. All that’s left is to let it burn.

Maybe then people might learn.