“What would you do if you knew that this was the last night of the world?”
“What would I do? You mean seriously?”
“I don’t know. I hadn’t thought.”
“Well, better start thinking about it.”
“Sometimes it frightens me, sometimes I’m not frightened at all but at peace. […] I dreamed that it was all going to be over, and a voice said it was; not any kind of voice I can remember, but a voice anyway, and it said things would stop here on Earth.”
“Where’s that spirit called self-preservation they talk so much about?”
“I don’t know. You don’t get too excited when you feel things are logical. This is logical. Nothing else but this could have happened from the way we’ve lived.”
“We haven’t been too bad, have we?”
“No, nor enormously good. I suppose that’s the trouble—we haven’t been very much of anything except us, while a big part of the world was busy being lots of quite awful things.”
“Do you know, I won’t miss anything but you and the girls. I never liked cities or my work or anything except you three. I won’t miss a thing except perhaps the change in the weather, and a glass of ice water when it’s hot, and I might miss sleeping.”
“I wonder what everyone else will do now, this evening, for the next few hours.”
“Go to a show, listen to the radio, watch television, play cards, put the children to bed, go to bed themselves, like always.”
“In a way that’s something to be proud of—like always.”
“Why do you suppose it’s tonight?”
“Why not some other night in the last century, or five centuries ago, or ten?”
“Maybe because it was never October 19, 1969, ever before in history, and now it is and that’s it; because this date means more than any other date ever meant; because it’s the year when things are as they are all over the world and that’s why it’s the end.”
“There are bombers on their schedules both ways across the ocean tonight that’ll never see land.”
“That’s part of the reason why.”
“I wonder […] If the door will be shut all the way, or if it’ll be left just a little ajar so some light comes in.”
“I wonder if the children know.”
“No, of course not.”
“I left the water running in the sink,” she said.
Something about this was so very funny that he had to laugh.
She laughed with him, knowing what it was that she had done that was funny.