I've had about two hours of rest. Not really sleep as most people think of it, just a short span of time where I didn't do anything at all. I just lay there next to Jess, listening to her breathe and praying to whatever gods might be listening that the sounds didn't get worse.
Yesterday morning, Will asked me to come over to the expansion for some work. The new office space he's using there is finished. The council meets there when needed, and the people Dave and I trained to run New Haven all those months ago work in an adjacent shipping container outfitted with desks and whatnot. There's even a nice little nook set aside for me, apparently.
I told him no. Will didn't take that with much grace.
I told him that if he wanted me to work on any of the weird little projects and things he usually wants me to take a look at, I could do that from home. Then I said that if he wanted me to do something really important--and let's face it, most of the stuff I work on are things other people could be doing if they worked at it--then some of the sick people could come to my house. Jess isn't bedbound yet, is still overseeing a lot of work, but mostly she's staying close to the house and letting healthy people do the labor part. She's acting as a hands-off manager for all the people and programs she manages. The sickness came over her quickly, and our fear is that it's going to worsen that way as well.
If she does get worse, I'm going to be here to care for her. I can handle a lot of people at once thanks to my experience as a nurse's aide, so if Will and the council want me to do something important, they can send me folks to take care of. Because I'm not going anywhere.
Of course he gave me the big speech about how the Exiles might not be a threat at present but the zombies outside would hit us at the first sign of weakness. He pointed out that my duty is to the community, a view I've expressed many times, and fiercely at that.
We argued. In the end, I got my way. Partially because I can best serve the community by caring for those who can't care for themselves. Should the undead breach the walls and move across New Haven's streets as they did a few years ago, my house is a very safe place. The sick people who come here will be very well defended by the modifications I've built. More, they'll have me. A man who wants to protect the person he loves most in the world. Toward that purpose, there's nothing I wouldn't do.
And beside all that? I'm due some selfishness if I want it.
New Haven started out as 'the compound'. Before that it was just my neighborhood. Jess and I were the ones to call for people to come here. We organized the survivors that joined us, taught them skills and learned some in return. New Haven as it is today simply would not exist if we hadn't thrown caution to the wind and invited anyone and everyone to join us. No, it wasn't pure altruism that drove our actions, we knew there was strength in numbers, but the ugly truth remains that if we hadn't done it most of our fellow citizens would have long since been fodder for one zombie swarm or another.
This is our home, and we've shared it without hesitation. Even now Jess works to ensure the continued growth of our food crops, though we have more than enough to be going on with. She struggles to make sure our armorers, who she personally taught their craft, are keeping up with the need for protective gear. She's sick and tired and hurting, yet she still soldiers on. For the greater good. For all of us.
So I'll be damned if anyone is going to tell me I can't be here for her. I'll do what I can to support the group within reason, but I'll be at home making sure she's got hot food ready and whatever other comforts I can think of at every turn. I'm not going to be bullied or strong-armed into leaving her side, especially when doing so would have virtually no benefit. I can do whatever work from this desk, I've done it that way often enough. I can care for Jess and accomplish what Will wants me to do as well. What I will not do is let anyone take me away from my wife, who is sick with a potentially deadly illness, for the sake of making the people in command look good.
I don't want to defy them. Not the council and not Will. He's my friend and most of the people backing him are as well. But they'll have to bring men with weapons who are willing to take casualties if they want to pry me out of this house for any reason other than a major crisis. That might sound a bit extreme. It is. One lesson we learned from the dangerously overconfident council that led this place while the team and I were on walkabout a few months back is that authority must be challenged if it's corrupt. That's how Will was elected leader in the first place. The other lesson was to be strong and consistent when you're in charge, which is what Will was trying to do in making me 'come into the office', as it were. He was making a point that everyone is hurting, everyone is in danger, and that doesn't change the responsibilities we have to meet.
I agree. I'm just not going to risk Jess getting sicker with no one here to help her because Will wants me to show solidarity by changing my location. I support him and the rest of the leadership to the hilt.
I'm just showing that support from here. I'm sure most of you can understand that. Rant over. Sorry I kind of went nuts there, but this is a big deal to me. I'm a grown man who knows his duty, and if I can do it in a way that works for everyone, I won't be pushed by politics. I won't risk leaving her side if she may need me. No matter what else happens.
This is Ryan again from the "North East". I must admit that this post took me by surprise. I want to start by expressing my concern for you and your wife and I hope that this will pass without dire consequences. We are also feeling the effects of the new virus and my heart goes out to all that have been infected…
The reason that I say that I am surprised by your post is the venomous nature that your words appear to have, and I am concerned about it effect on your readers. Let me explain. For a long time I was by myself and your words were my only connections to another human. I found comfort in those words knowing I was not the only human left and that there was a place to go for a sense of unity. I did not make it to New Haven, but your words keep me looking for a place to call home even as I tried to make my way to New Haven.
This last post though, it scared me. I am not saying that you should not be allowed to blow off steam. In fact, if my wife was sick I would want to do the exact same thing. Please remember though, because of this blog you are now a leader. Intentional or not intentional, people look to you for strength and will follow your example. I know the community that I am in now was started by people who followed your example.
So without sounding unsympathetic, please reconsider what Will was trying to explain to you. If you break off and do your own thing, how is it different from when the Exiles formed their union? I understand that you may think to yourself "but I am only one person", but you have people that will follow you and your actions … I did. If you decide to stay home, what is stopping others from following suit.
I am sorry if I do not seem to care about your feelings or your wife. This is not my intent. In fact, I am concerned about you, your wife and all of New Haven. What happens to New Haven if everyone with sick friends or family decides to work from home?
With hope and humanity,
Josh and his wife has given everything they had to New Haven and its residents. Do you really mean to imply he is not entitled to be with her when she needs him the most? How can politics even begin to play into what should be a very personal matter. Surely New Haven will survive a few days without Josh showing his face and I am sure no one would have thought any differently of it had such issues had not been made. No one can be expected to give 150% 150% of the time. Since the Fall, no one has been able to come to terms with the new reality set before them. To allow such an indulgence would have meant certian death. Instead, everyone has pushed themselves to unbelievable limits and beyond. Frustration and hot tempers cannot be allowed to fracture life's delicate balance.ReplyDelete
Josh, spend time with your wife. Take on others who are ill, too. care and focus on them. Reassure the higher beings you will help as needed while fulfilling your first committment to your first love. May God bless and comfort you and yours.
Please do not misinterpret me as I too believe that Josh should spend time with his wife. What I am concerned over is how he expressed himself with his words and outright defiance. His quote,
"But they'll have to bring men with weapons who are willing to take casualties if they want to pry me out of this house for any reason other than a major crisis. That might sound a bit extreme. It is. One lesson we learned from the dangerously overconfident council that led this place while the team and I were on walkabout a few months back is that authority must be challenged if it's corrupt. That's how Will was elected leader in the first place. The other lesson was to be strong and consistent when you're in charge, which is what Will was trying to do in making me 'come into the office', as it were. He was making a point that everyone is hurting, everyone is in danger, and that doesn't change the responsibilities we have to meet."
Particularly the first sentence is where my concern lay. As I had stated earlier, he is a leader, intentionally or unintentionally, and leaders words bear weight. In his community and others, people look to his blog for information, escape and even guidance. As I had said earlier, his blog is what kept me going in my dark days… stopped me from going to the “dark side". It is hard to be hungry, scared and alone and not sink to that place that mauraders go. Josh keep me sane; saved me even.
So now I am just trying to repay the favor he gave me, even if he was unaware. When you lead, others will follow. When you make a statement like “bring men with weapons who are willing to take casualties” it could have the consequence of others taking that quote out of context… without looking at the rest (which is why I included the rest).
Josh, please spend time with your wife. You do deserve it. Take in the sick and utilize your house and skills in the best way you can in this personally trying time.
I have beaten this bush enough.
With Hope and Humanity,