Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I'm sitting on a platform high above the earth. It's swaying beneath me, and cold, but here I have a sense of peace that I had forgotten was even attainable.

We got back yesterday, and it was amazing. Seeing Courtney, Steve, Little David and all the rest made my heart fill with love and relief to overflowing. I missed them and their company in ways and to depths that words will never be able to convey. More, just the idea that they had survived the trip around the country to come back to us was nearly unreal in itself. They were all gone when Will Price gave us up to the Richmond soldiers. We haven't seen them since before then.

Jess and I spent a lot of time with Courtney and her crew yesterday, catching up as we began the process of unloading the vast haul of stuff that was sent here with them. And I do mean vast--truck after truck packed with things, three fuel trucks, two school buses packed from front to back. So many things in so much variety that it's going to be days just sorting through it and cataloging it for use.

We had a good time yesterday, to be sure. After so many hours together, we went to sleep. I woke up not too long ago in the crowded wooden barracks that form the refugee camp within Jack's compound, and I needed some air. I went up on the roof to walk around for a bit and maybe write, laptop tucked in to my backpack. I found a ladder leading up to a taller section of roof, and there I found the tall platform I'm sitting on as I type this, circling around the water tower that keeps this place hydrated.

Looking out over the battered landscape, things are in perspective. I can see zombies moving around below, but from here they're impossible to tell apart from living people except for their movements. There's something poetic in that, I think, but I'm too tired and buzzed from last night to name it.

There's a big job to be done here, which is what I mentioned yesterday. The main complex of Jack's compound is pretty much occupied, but right in the same industrial park not a quarter mile away is an unused and mostly empty building. It used to be a factory, like most of the buildings around here, and it was in the process of being emptied out when The Fall came. We're going to empty it out all the way.

It's going to become a hydroponic garden. It has its own water tower, and we're going to tinker with the sprinkler system to create a makeshift water delivery mechanism. We're working on plans for it, and the ideas are looking good. It's going to be a major endeavor, many levels of indoor food production all year round...if we can figure out a way to heat the place well enough. That's going to be the hard part. That, and figuring out how to get enough light to the plants.

That's down the road. Over the next bit, the hard part is going to be clearing it all the way out, bringing in loads of construction material and soil, and all the like.

I'm starting to freeze up here. I better go...

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