Friday, January 18, 2013


So, yesterday was a weird day. No idea why, but all the electronics in New Haven went on the fritz. Thus no blog post or communication in any form. Impulse told me it was some kind of attack, but there are several facts that argue against that.

One: that kind of large-scale electromagnetic disturbance is usually the result of a nuclear weapon going off. I'm still here to write this, so we can rule out atomic weapons.

Two: a device capable of producing such an effect without splitting atoms would have to be powerful and within the boundaries of New Haven itself to be that effective.

One of our portable cell towers is completely fried, and I'd have to take a stab in the dark and say that something inside it went terribly wonky and jammed all the other wireless signals. It's a guess only, but no one has any better suggestions. I'm not an engineer or anything, but the few people we have with experience in such things assure me that's about the only possibility.

As with the small ice storm that hit us the other day, this slowed down our efforts to comb the wreckage over in the fallback point. It's a bad idea to send people over the river without solid long-range communications. So we didn't. Which is probably a good thing since my brother drew duty yesterday for the job. He's still pretty upset. I sometimes forget that my big brother, who has been a rock for me my entire life, has seen the same level of horrible shit happen as the rest of us. I've never seen him truly shaken before, much less for days on end. I worry about him a lot. We all have our limits and the constant rasp of violence and death against our souls wears us thin one stroke at a time.

But today is another day, cold and clear, and we must do our best (as always) to soldier on. It's a hard thing to say and ten times harder to actually do, but the needs of the group must come before our own feelings.

Which brings me to an interesting point, actually. Jess has been putting in dangerously long hours at the greenhouses the last few weeks, and we've barely had any time together. I've basically spent that time here at the house building comprehensive histories of New Haven and her people as well as putting in several hours a day on a compendium for survival. That one has been a pet project for a while, and yes I'm totally aware of the irony of a guy who suffers from deep depressions putting together a survival manual. The idea is to examine all the things we've tried, or that other people have tried, and weed out all the bad ideas. It's sort of a super-distilled volume dedicated to the most efficient ways to do...well, just about anything. And it's a living document that will be amended and added to over time. A bible, of you will, for anyone that wants it.

See how I nerded out just then? That's the point I was getting to. I've been neck deep in my projects just as Jess has been in hers. I love my wife intensely (and somehow gently at the same time) and in ways I can't even explain. Not seeing her really sucks, and not having time together just for us compounds that sucktitude geometrically. Her driving force is to make sure we aren't caught with our pants down when the spring rolls around and the zombies once again run over us like the ocean. We'll need as much of a head start with farming and food supplies as we can get. Jess is burning the candle at both ends because she feels that she can do the best job of it, and because two thousand people are counting on her.

I'm pouring myself into my own work because I recognize that what she's doing is vital, and me bitching about it or guilting her into slowing down or taking time off would be selfish beyond forgiveness. My own work, though not nearly as important, still might save or at least improve lives, so I put my all into it. It's as much self-preservation as it is a desire to help; without the distraction I'd go insane being here without her. Most of my friends are very busy lately, so I don't have them to divert me.

I will eventually put the manual out there for everyone to read, but it's going to take a lot of work to ensure its accuracy. One wrong or unclear sentence and it could cost lives rather than preserve them. That's one lucky thing Jess has going for her. It's nearly impossible to kill people with vegetables, despite the claims of generations of reluctant children at dinner tables 'round the world.

Don't think I don't realize that we're all of us--Dave, Jess, Myself, and really most people--isolating ourselves in some form or fashion to deal with our hardships. It's a damn funny thing, but productive. To escape the pain, we throw ourselves into the work. It helps us forget. It produces good effects for large numbers of people.

Yet for us as individuals I have to wonder if it's the healthiest choice. We're all survivors together, facing new and greater threats on a regular basis. Guess it seems like since we've survived so much we should be somehow better, or at least more capable of coping as a unit. Proof once again that we're just as flawed as anyone else in history. Don't know if that's a comfort or not.

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