One of the most memorable parts of my training in Aikido and Judo was the concept of small circles. The idea was that any technique achievable by a large movement--usually circular, at least in Aikido--was also achievable with a much smaller movement. The difference between them was only difficulty, a problem overcome with time, effort, and dedication.
I've come to terms with being allowed to sit on my ass and write. I don't feel a pressing urge to show willing by having a normal day job here. Truth is, there are a lot of people around New Haven that have desk jobs. I had one myself for ages. Jess and Patrick have convinced me that what I do here on the blog is just as important as what I used to do. Maybe not in the material sense of organizing and collating data for easy use, but in a longer arc. Writing honestly about the dilemmas we face on moral, ethical, mental, physical, spiritual, and philosophical levels really does make a difference. I've heard it often enough from other survivors. Making ourselves reevaluate our actions and attitudes as well as keep an eye for people buckling under the strain is important.
That being said, I do feel that it's vitally important for me to rejoin the ranks of on-call defensive fighters. It isn't just a philosophical ideal for me, though being available to defend my home just like everyone else is a part of it. Mainly, after yesterday, I'm learning just how hot the situation in the county is getting for our folks.
The assault teams are being stretched to their limits with all the undead coming in from the west and south. We've killed so many zombies over the years that we forget just how many people used to live in this country. Even if only ten percent of the population turned into the undead, that's still more than thirty million of them. And we have good reason to believe that number is much, much higher.
Word from out of town is that the new breed version of the plague has become universal. It's every damn where and the pace at which old school zombies are being infected with it or eaten by the new breed to sustain them is increasing. Two highly relevant facts should be taken away from that observation.
One: the number of new breed out there is increasing. If I have to explain how dangerous that is to you, then I'm not sure how you survived this long. Welcome out of your bunker, I guess.
Two: as the number of new breed grows, they eat more of the remaining old school zombies, reducing their easily available food supply. Which means sooner or later those fuckers run out of their equivalent to canned food and need to go shopping.
I suppose I should add a third here, though it goes without saying: we're the grocery store.
Some of my friends aren't happy with Steve for sticking me in front of those zombies yesterday. I'd love to say I had a revelation and am now a fully-charged ass-kicking machine, but that just ain't so. People aren't built on simple binary systems. We are not one thing or another. We're complex and fragile and amazingly capable of holding the cracks in our armor together until that last hit that shatters the whole thing.
I didn't turn into a John Woo character and start firing my gun as I leaped sideways, screaming like a madman and clamoring for revenge. My movements stuttered as I fell into a shooting stance. I was slow and awkward, and Steve had to slow down the first zombie to come for us by putting two rounds into its chest. Those copper-jacketed pieces of lead didn't do any real damage to the zombie, but they did make him pause for a second. Nothing like pain crossed his face, but a look of vaguely puzzled concentration did.
While the zombie was considering the holes that blossomed over his heart, I sighted and fired. The whole experience after that is sort of blurry, but I remember very clearly a moment where I thought the panic would rise in me like magma, explode up and out and fall back down to crush me.
It didn't. I don't know if my survival instinct made the rest of my psyche its bitch or what, but I did the work that needed doing. Not prettily, not well, but I did it. I don't know that I can be relied on not to crack under pressure yet, but I know this was a step. This was the big expansive circle of practice I needed to begin. Now the trick is to gradually reduce down, to hone and perfect, until I know I can defend my home when called.
Like I said, as a purely practical matter I need to do this because our assault teams may soon not have a job. They've been trying to make runs into the county to thin out the incoming herds, but the task is getting beyond them. The one small advantage is that the Exiles can't seem to run operations against us amid the chaos of thousands of undead walking about.
I'm going to be spending some more time with Steve today. Dodger may join us, I haven't spent much time with him lately. I may be taking baby steps, but at this point I'll take any forward motion I can get.