So, I see all my friends – those of them I’ve got left, anyhow – are wondering if I’m a lair or if I’m dead. They’re right on one count, and as for the other…well, it won’t be long now.
So I exaggerated a little about how well I was keeping the farm going, and having massive stores of food and fuel. I didn’t get much from the town, cause I couldn’t get gas in the truck. I took the car on a couple of runs before that ran out, too. Walking there and back with a trolley takes hours, and it’s been too dangerous since the gangs moved out of the city. For weeks I’ve been living mostly on mouldy beans and the odd squirrel – or woodchuck.
Most of the food I put aside when I was prepping got taken in the raids. The first one, I turned out my lights, locked the door and shivered under my bed till they left. I was afraid they’d be carrying the flu, or that they’d just shoot me, or that I’d have to shoot them. The second one – the one about a month ago – I was already kind of not quite here, I mean I half believed the stuff I was posting. I thought I could take them, and I started shooting from the window but they jumped me. They’d come in through the back while they used my rigged alarms to lure me out front, and they knocked the gun out of my hand before I could even take aim. They forced me to show them where my hidden stores were. They took almost everything. Worse, they made me go up to the main house, with a rifle in my back, to call out and see if anyone was home.
They realised there wasn’t soon as we got within 50 yards of the place. The smell. They still made me go in with them. They made me face the wall, and one of them held a gun to me while the others searched the place. I could hear the flies buzzing around, and the smell made me wretch. I couldn’t stand upright. Eventually the guy with the gun let me kneel down to puke. They put masks on and ignored the flies, like it was nothing, they see this shit all the time. They took all the food in sealed containers from the kitchen and the basement, most of the tools in the garage, the truck and most of my weapons. They left me alone in there, said they’d shoot at me if I came out before they’d gone. I kept telling myself it wasn’t real. I’d buried them, I did funerals and everything. The wooden crosses and laminated photos were there, out in the herb patch. But I didn’t bury them. I just left them in there and didn’t go over that side of the farm again. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t look at them.
And I couldn’t say any of that, here. Mei was reading, and she was just dealing with it all, like it came easy to her. She didn’t need anything from me. And if she saw that I wasn’t coping, that things were falling apart for me… I’d look so weak and stupid. So I lied. I wanted to impress her. I wanted her to change her mind about me. I thought, my life might have been going nowhere in the old world, but now that the shit’s hit, it’s my time, and I can be the one to keep it going, and bring it back from the brink. That’s what I wanted her to see. And I wanted her to regret brushing me off, and know she’d have been OK if she’d only come to join me when I asked her to. So yeah, I guess it was pretty pathetic. And petty, and mean. And it didn’t even work. Whatever I said to big up my life, she never regretted staying in Beijing for a second. She could barely find time to think about me. So the whole sham was pointless then, and it’s even more pointless now.
So I guess now I get what I deserve: to sit in an empty house on a wasted farm with no family, no friends, no food and no way out. All I got now is one loaded pistol, a backup I hid when I was prepping. So perhaps I got a way out after all.