“What would you do if you were the last person on earth?” Thomas asked me suddenly during lunch.

I didn’t hesitate. “Cry. Then kill myself.”

We both laughed, but Thomas interjected in protest, “You shouldn’t kill yourself!”

“Why not? It’s pointless if I’m the only person alive.”

“I think it’d be fun.”

We detailed living in mansions (only one-story ones, Thomas said, the roofs tend to fall in if left unattended), living in Berkeley Bowl, living far away from natural disasters (where aren’t there natural disasters, Thomas? Nevada, was the glib answer), gathering all the books in the world (because, Thomas said, you need to accrue all the knowledge in the world, now that you’re your own physician, dentist, mechanic, etc.–and treat each infection like you’re dying!)–“books!” I exclaimed. “I’ll live in El Cerrito Plaza and read all the books in Barnes and Noble!”

I was still laughing when I thought this, but how very lonely, to be the last person on earth, starving for conversation and turning to books for comfort.

It was a good question–it showed me (again) why we were made for community.

What would you do if you were the last person on earth?