Sharing a Meal at the End of the World

By Anya Ow in Issue Six, September 2022

Sometime after the end of the world, a man buys a woman a drink.

He’s old enough to remember a time when drinks at no-name bars like this one came in bottles with printed labels, made in everywhere—glass bottle in Australia, label in China, hops in America—the casual wealth of easy resources bottled up for cheap. She isn’t. Maybe that’s the draw for them both.

“Samuel,” he says, when she takes a seat at the table. “Sara, yah?”

Sara nods. “Hi Samuel. Nice to meet you.” She attempts a smile. It’s been a while since she’d last had the resources to go on a proper date, so she’s splurged. Mineral powder makeup, the last of her blusher, even some lipstick. Samuel’s possibly worth it, judging by his Bumblr profile. He’s tall, an atheist, has a full-time job and Grade+ access to water rations, which more than makes up for his average access to everything else.