“Get them moving, Mike, we can’t wait,” the man tells me. He’s right and I know it, but it’s hard to convince people just to drop what they have in their hands, what they have pushed in a baby carriage or a wheelbarrow, or however they got it here, just to drop it and go.

            It’s like looking at the world’s biggest yard sale, with items from their homes, things they remember, things they’ve owned since they were children and now, they have to move fast, and leave it all behind.

            “It’s my grammy,” a woman sobs, “she raised me, this photo is all I have left of her, there’s room for a photo, come on, it’s not that big.”

            “Nothing,” I tell her, and keep walking as she wails. It hurts doing this, but we have to go, and there’s no time left.

            “Look, look,” a man paws at me holding up a golden figurine, “I’ll split the money with you, this is an antique, it’s worth a lot, I’ll give you half.”

            “Drop it, and keep moving, drop it and keep moving,” that’s my mantra.

            “I can take Gary?” the little boy asks me, and children are the worst, and when their parents aren’t around its heart wrenching. He’s holding up a fuzzy stuffed animal.

            “No, you have to keep moving, there’s no room,” I tell him and he drops his head, tears falling.

            “You don’t have to be this way about it, they’re confused, lost, they have no idea what’s going to happen,” a woman snarls at me.

            “And you do?” I ask, pausing for just a moment.

            “I, uh, I made my peace with it,” but she suddenly falters, looks scared.

            “The job is yours if you think you can do it,” I tell her, and I keep moving. She’s pretty, and in another time, I would talk to her, but now it’s over, and the end is near for all of them. We’re pushing them forward, tears, questions, anger, resentment, but behind there is nothing left at all.

            Then it is over. I sigh. Looking back, to the horizon are suitcases, photos, beloved items that mean nothing and are worth nothing to anyone who still lives.

            “More coming in a few seconds, Mike, get them moving.”


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