Build the Bunker

‘Ma, I just read that the Generation Xers have been waiting for this moment their whole lives.’

I stopped. ‘Where did you read that?’

Lu looked up from the screen. ‘Buzzfeed. They say Gen Xers are ready for this because of all the disaster movies and dystopian tv shows Xers watched growing up.’

It hit me like a brick. She was right. Escape from New York. Mad Max. The first Terminator movie was my obsession. I watched it over and over again as a kid. I shipped Linda Hamilton and that guy who came from the future. Wore out the VHS tape imagining the apocalypse.

We bought the latest Terminator from Jason about a month ago in Bridgetown. I tried to like it. The time travel got a bit too much though, even for me. Plus, the girls kept saying. ‘Look, there’s David Walliams!’ and bursting into giggles. They had a point. With that healthy beard, Arnie and Walliams could be brothers.

Jack meanwhile, he was more of a Waterworld fan. I’d never seen it. Was too snobbish with its panned reviews. Well, it was about to be my moment. Jack had got the movie off Victoria’s Ghost’s movie hard drive and was threatening to put it on for weeks.

Even with Kevin Costner’s earnestness, Waterworld turned out to be so bad, it was pretty good. Those camo-painted jet skis! The awesome trimaran. And Dennis Hopper stealing the movie.

The only thing was, when I was watching it, I caught myself feeling strange. Uncomfortable. I’d check the headlines every once in a while. New habit. Prime Minister Boris Johnson positive for the virus. Six-month potential UK lockdown. New York City possibly running out of supplies in a week. I started feeling confused. Which part had got dystopian?

Is this really our moment? You can almost split peoples’ reactions into generations. The Boomers who I know seem to be going all conspiracy. They’re obsessed with where the virus came from. Innocent animal cross-over or deadly biological weapon? To be honest, I don’t care too much. The way I see it, it’s here now. But like my cousin, Kristian said, ‘Maybe because Boomers feel they’re the ones being targeted.’

The Millennials who I’ve seen have a different take again. For example, there’s a red boat on the edge of the anchorage. Fred and Sarah. He’s a Finn, she’s a Swede. These guys do their own thing. A seagull hangs out on their boat. Sits on the back while they’re cooking bread.

They told us they were going into an AirBnB for a couple of days.

I scratched my head. ‘How come?’

They explained it was super cheap. Since all the tourists have left Barbados. Then they could unlimited showers, wifi etc. Damn, I thought! We’d never have thought of that. Too busy stamping on the washing. Planning the bunker.

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