Be Here to Love Me at the End of the World is, on one hand, a story about the beautiful and mundane love of Eleanor and Sam who are just trying to live a normal life in the times of an impending apocalypse. On the other hand, it is also the story of America that too many of us ignore or forget. It lifts the veil on the dark side of America, showing how the dream of freedom and justice for all has never been accomplished.
This is America. This land is neither your land, nor my land. This land belongs to the dead.
Eleanor and Sam’s story could be anyone’s story. When we are first introduced to them, Eleanor’s job is their main source of income as Sam is doing freelance work but not getting many jobs and also not being paid for the ones he did do. Although it’s a well-paying job, rent for their apartment in Brooklyn is obviously ridiculously high and they also have to worry about groceries and bills and, of course, debt. So, even when Sam does get a better paying job as well, it certainly helps, but it’s still not enough to not worry about money. But they have each other, and they mainly focus on the basic joys of life, like a delicious dinner and being in the presence of the person you love. Sometimes, those are the small miracles that help you get by.
They made a promise with the world and the world kept it and if that wasn’t a miracle then miracles don’t exist.
I found myself wondering who our narrator is. Could it be Sam speaking about his relationship as if an outsider and sharing his views on America? Could it be an agent of the government or secret police who monitor citizens at all times? Could it be an angel, who Sam believes will come down when the world ends? Or should we just leave it as some unknown, omnipotent someone who believes in Eleanor and Sam’s love, hates the cops, wants everyone to remember the darkness of America so that we can all do better than our past, and loves us very much.
It’s not that we forget, it’s that there are just too many tragedies, every week, forever and ever, and to remember them all would kill you. Your heart would break and stop beating and you’d die. So we forget.
But we are reminded, by this angry, exasperated narrator, about the horrors of America. About the beginnings of wars, the ends of wars, the devastation they bring, the selfishness of presidents, the atrocities cops get away with, the rise of poverty due to more selfishness from the rich or even just landlords, the suffering of the homeless, the ways in which the government squashes any hope in the lower classes in order to keep them where they are, in debt to the country that wants to keep them under their boot. Our narrator wants us to see all this, but also wants us to see the love that can be found here too. So they show us Eleanor and Sam. They show us a healthy, loving relationship to tell us that this is possible. Love is possible even in the darkest of times. If we all used love instead of fear, maybe the world would stop looking so bleak and daunting. Maybe we could fix what we broke.
It’s a hundred years later, the clouds are gone, everything’s on fire, and the air’s fucked… you can track the promises we made to each other each time we crawled out of the sea whenever you look to the sky. Next time will be so different.
Overall, this is a story about fighting on, not giving up no matter how scary things become, no matter how uncertain or dejected you feel, and to give and receive love as much as you can. We all fret over things out of our control. There is so much that we cannot fix on our own. But what we can do is work harder to come together, to love each other and the world we were blessed to live on. We can love. That’s the one thing we can do.
I can’t make you any promises other than that I love you. I don’t know that this world will allow me to keep a single one. But I love you. I love you so much.