Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Context of Fear

I was expecting something a little more complicated, but I will certainly take an easy win if it's handed to me.

The meeting was something else. While I generally disapprove of kidnapping as a means of information gathering, I can't fault the reasoning of David's kidnappers. It's not like we're on Google or anything.

As it turns out, the arrow stuck in that zombie's head was a good clue. I suspected we were about to run into the folks that shot me, and I was right. David is fine. They caught him because they wanted to know about us, see if we were safe. They seemed mighty impressed with the fact that they weren't shot down after the girl fired her bow at me.

So now we have four more.

They are actually all siblings, two brothers and two sisters, who were in a pretty tight spot. Every place they tried to stay ended up being attacked by either looters or zombies, and they were desperate for a spot to sleep that was safe. Jack, Edward, Ellen and Darlene are sleeping now, after their first solid meal in four days. Darlene, for the record, is the one that got me.

David only suffered a bloody nose and some bruised pride. It was one of the girls that took him down. I'm betting Darlene, by the way they try not to let anyone see how they look at each other.

It might seem like sex is an issue the last day or so, and I guess that's because it is. You out there probably understand. Used to be the stress we all lived under was consistent and of the low, background noise variety. But now, our blood gets pumping to dangerous levels a few times a day. It is in our nature as people to use sex as a release valve for it all...but that is so much harder for many people now. I can't fault anyone for finding some happiness where they may. David vanishing proved that point; it's not just zombies and looters that conspire against us.

The challenges we face are greater than most of us could ever have imagined, and yet, life is simpler now. But fate, or kismet, or god, or the random roll of dice (however you may see it) is blind to how the rhythms of daily life have altered. Our group looks at each other, every day, cherishing the moments we are together in ways impossible before, because the stark truth has taught us to know, deep within where only the hardest facts can live, that we are all at risk.

Any moment, any time, one of us could die.

My friends, my mother, my wife, my old flame...even my pets, whose affection has been one of the few carryovers from what used to be my life, keep me grounded. These are the things I value, and love, and shed tears for in the blackest parts of night, in anguish that they might suddenly be gone.

I may go find Jess. I think it's time to stop all this maudlin talk and have ourselves a little reaffirmation of life.

Be safe, all, and watch each other's backs. Never go out alone, and never leave each other in anger.

Always say I love you.

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