Loneliness

Loneliness can be felt while surrounded by people, and it can be felt when one is all alone. It can be pervasive, it can be momentary, it can linger in the background and come out unexpectedly. And it’s far more common than you think.

Or maybe not – I don’t know what you think.

That’s a pet peeve. I keep hearing, or seeing, actually, people say, “That’s ridiculous!” or “You’re just feeling sorry for yourself!” a particular favorite of my stepmother, who had a hand in convincing me I deserved to be alone, or “How can anyone think that way?” about most anything you can imagine. Everyone is a separate individual with their own thoughts and feelings, their own perspective and their own experiences. There aren’t two people that much alike that they can understand everything about each other.

Or maybe there are. What do I know?

If we were talking about me, for example, people might say I have lots of friends, and I do, though I might never see them. Many of them I’ve never met. I like to keep it that way to avoid their eventual disappointment. That’s the sort of thing that can lead to loneliness. What if people found out what I’m really like? In my case, it’s a lack of trust. I don’t trust anyone, except my husband, to see me. And maybe my cousin, because it turns out we’re a lot alike. I don’t even tell people my religious beliefs, or lack thereof, unless I know we’re in the same demographic.

I have a lovely life, but I’ve never made many local friends. Everyone I know is through work, and you can’t trust people who are clients. You can, and I do, but it’s work. I miss, sometimes, working with other people, though I acknowledge it’s not always easy to get along with people, depending on who you and they are.

I don’t like to call people because as I discussed with my cousin last week, I think I’m interrupting something important, which would be anything they’re doing and I’m not. Besides, I’m not good on the phone. I need to see people in real life to have something to say.

And even then you might think I’m the boringest person on the planet.

Or not.

I amuse my husband, but he’s easily amused, fortunately.

People are social creatures, but for some reason some of us don’t trust easily, and we hide from the light like the bugs you see from turning over a rock.

Many depressed people are lonely and say they have no one to turn to, no one who believes them or listens. That may be true, or there may be someone close by that wants to help them but doesn’t know how, and the depressed person can’t see the part of the other person that is there for them because they can’t recognize it. Maybe they’ve had too many people tell them they could just snap out of it if they wanted, or they’re just lazy, as if people enjoy being depressed and do it to themselves.

We don’t.

People don’t want to be depressed nor lonely. Most of the time I’m fine, working or doing the thing I seem to be doing the most of these days, resting, because I can amuse myself for hours alone. But I miss people. Some people don’t. But if someone is depressed and feels all alone, it’s likely they miss people. Sometimes I miss people.

That sounds very self-absorbed, but we all relate to the world starting from the inside, from what we know and experience. Where else would we start from?

 

 

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Unchecked Baggage

How much are they charging for baggage these days? I always pay it because I only have the one bag, the rest I carry, and I can barely carry that. These days, I doubt I could carry even that. I’ll be the one traveling with a tiny bag containing my tiny iPad and my wallet, which is where I keep my plastic. Maybe my phone, though if you want to reach me it’s best to email. Sometimes I don’t get my phone messages because … honestly. I don’t check it. Clients know to email me for fastest service.

But for you, even faster.

I was born defective. That’s one thing they don’t tell you until things start popping up. But for my age, my body is remarkably inefficient. It hasn’t worked well for quite some time time. Sure, my parents loved me, being rather normal parents. And mostly I pass in public as mostly normal, whatever that may be. There seems to be no accurate description off what that might be. So there’s that part of my unchecked baggage.

What about you? Checked your baggage lately?

In the past few months there have been deaths, as there tend to be, the older we get. First my first husband, who had lung cancer. Long time smoker. By the time I found out he was in hospice he was gone. I didn’t check my messages that weekend. I felt bad for having missed his dying, but he never felt all that bad about trying to strangle me, or the time he banged my head into the floor over and over again, as if that would somehow eject his demons, or mine. Eventually one of us, probably me, was going to die. He died at 60, but with his sisters and a close friend by his side.

And I thought, after being sad that he’d died, that he’d never pay me back what he owed since our divorce. I’d given up on that long ago, though occasionally, years ago, I’d remind him when he’d call me, usually late and drunk. He was drunk, to be clear, not me. “I didn’t forget,” he’d tell me, “you’ll get it.”

Come to find out, I was the beneficiary of some annuities he had. Not a ton of money, but quite a bit more than he owed me. Interest for my pain and suffering maybe. He hasn’t worked much in the past 20 years, preferring to live on military retirement in his dead mother’s house. I let him have it all, the retirement, though I could have really used the half that I was legally entitled to. I didn’t want to leave that tie open, and I could provide for myself better than he could.

That turned out to be true.

Then my cousin contacted me to tell me her mother, my aunt, was in hospice, with lung cancer. She wasn’t there more than a few days before she was gone. She’d spent her career as an oncology nurse, but smoking doesn’t care if you know the possible consequences of your actions.

When my mom was dying of liver cancer, my aunt told me that we weren’t to mention that her history of drinking may have been a contributor. As if I would do that, even If I’d thought about it, which I hadn’t. She was the last of that generation in the family. That line, at any rate.

Last week her son and daughter cleaned out her house, and asked the rest of us to let them know if we wanted anything. I asked for the history stuff, the things she’d shown me last time I visited. Long family tree information going back to Scotland. All the things my grandmother had saved of their courtship, scrapbooks of their social life (extensive) and one whole scrapbook of my grandfather’s illustrative career as a lawyer and Kiwanis member. Four boxes, not all of them looked at yet, so no telling what else.

My aunt’s sisters and brothers all died of cancer. Maybe personal habits, maybe the far off nuclear testing they’d witnessed as children, maybe just life, because we all have that baggage, and cancer doesn’t care who you are, or what you’ve done, or what you believe.

It’s just life sometimes.

One of my best friends is my second cousin, who is technically my aunt’s and mom’s generation. She remembers spending a lot of time with them when she was young, the younger cousin hanging out with the older kids. I didn’t even know of her until my mom died, and she lives five minutes away from me.

I was planning on being as healthy as she still is, still working as a financial rep, or my grandfather, who was practicing law until at least his 80’s, and who died just short of his 101st birthday.

But healthy hasn’t worked out all that well, though everything else has. And now they tell me I have significant loss of brain mass, and I don’t know what even means, other than the obvious, because finding a neurologist who isn’t scheduling at least three months in advance is asking a lot. My records are currently in for an interview at OHSU, and perhaps they’ll interview better than I do.

My doctor had tentatively suggested Parkinson’s, based on my symptoms and my gait. And elbows. Now he won’t tell me anything, though he called me early one day to tell me about my shrinking brain. That’s all he has for me, but at least he’s not throwing out random ideas.

It could be nothing. But I have headaches most days, and before this all started I rarely had headaches. Not extreme headaches, just the occasional sharp stabbing pain, but everyone gets that, right? And I’m just a little bit more forgetful, and I’m slower at work. That’s scary, because my income depends on being fast. No more multi-tasking – it confuses me and I forget what I was doing if I’ve switched my attention for any length of time. I used to be fast, and really good at getting lots done in a small amount of time. Tremors, which are better the more I rest, fatigue, etc. No one wants to know about that. The summer of 2016 I started getting tremors. I was driving forty minutes to and from once a week, and when I got there my hands were shaking like crazy, and I thought I was just tired, because of the fibro, but it didn’t get better.

If it isn’t nothing, that’s life. That’s the way things go. I’m okay with that. At least for now. For now I’m going to continue doing what I’ve always done, albeit a bit slower, and I’ll try to get rid of some of that baggage. If I don’t, that’s just life too.

It’s all life.

 

Sleeping, or not

When sleep won’t come because the mind is scared of what will happen and everyone else, even the dog, is asleep, I can barely talk myself into going to sleep. Chances are, if we’re looking at chances, nothing will happen. But it’s not a guarantee, and I like guarantees. It’s not as if I won’t sleep, because chances are I will, but now will I wake up? Will I be cold and shaking and wet from sweat? That’s the worst. Will I wake up feeling okay but in pain? I never know.

When day comes I’m hesitant to meet it, though I’m often excited to see what will happen next. Not with me, because it’s mostly sitting at my desk working or napping. But the world is full of constant surprises. What idiotic thing will the leader of the US do next? My excitement dims as I see it’s more of the same, a report redone to delete numbers that change the results to match a policy that is both inhumane and stupid. More bad edicts, more bad government peons in service to their oligarchs.

It’s all about money. It’s not enough to have money, it must still be more and more, while the much of the country is in despair. The oligarchs collect their money and then, in their attempts to keep what they have and make more, they spend obscene amounts buying the party, the politician they favor, and we are, most of the rest of us, helpless to stop them. We protest, we contact our reps in Congress but they don’t care because we can’t buy them like the oligarchs can.

When did my country become so mean? There’s so much hate, no integrity, no truth. Instead we have alt-facts and lies upon lies. It makes me sad. We’re not people anymore, we’re a commodity, and our owners know they can easily get more of us. If people die because they’re shipped off to war or they have no health insurance, they don’t care. And their followers seem confused and use what-about-ism to answer every argument.

I want to help, but my hands shake, sometimes my bad knee doesn’t work, I have headaches daily, my walk is not sure and steady, I’m still waiting for an MRI to determine if I don’t have Parkinson’s. And I’m so tired. And I must keep working.

It’s like that for most of the people I know. We work because we have to, because this is how we live. It’s still all about money.

I can be outraged only so much of my time. To much outrage and angry can transport many of right into depression and anxiety, and I don’t want to go there. I want to know what’s going on, because it matters and as far as I know, I still get to vote. A Many people don’t, and don’t care, and I wasn’t to ask “what about your children?” because they will have to live in this world a lot longer. I want them to have a just and fair world. I want a world where multiple aren’t killing themself lives out of despair and hopeless. The future will not be easy as it is.

I will sleep tonight. We both have jobs, health insurance from an employer, other benefits, we have a house, well, we and the bank, two good cars, and enough income to make the student loan payments every month. Life is good. We’re lucky and have white privilege, and one day, while in my car, I realized that I would never worry about being stopped by car, because I’m a privileged middle age white woman. And I cannot imagine what not having that privilege would be like. I just don’t know.

There is much rambling here, and for that I apologize. I’m still looking for what I want to write. There are so many choices after all.

Mr Mooney’s Very Bad Day

First of all, and while this was not new, he still hated being called Mr Mooney, as if he were old and barely getting around, maybe with a walker, maybe not. “Good morning Mr Mooney,” trilled the receptionist as he walked in, adding just enough contempt so only he could hear it. He marveled at her skill while thinking of ways to throw her off her feminist perch.

He had once considered asking her out, maybe a movie, maybe a walk along the polluted waterway that ran through town, and he carried with him at all times letters of consent, just in case. But then one of the third floor guys mentioned she was a feminist, and next time he passed by her desk he saw it: the stringy dark hair, the misshapen face, the utilitarian clothes, and the extra fifty pounds she’d been hiding. Yes, she would not do at all.

Mr Mooney went up to the third floor, which was all men. It wouldn’t do to mix the men and women, because everyone knew that was unworkable. Much better for work to have that separation.

He sat at his desk and sighed, and did nothing else. He was thinking about why he’d woken up that morning, again, when he’d gone to sleep hoping for death. On the way to work he had an opportunity to through himself into the river, which was so toxic no one could have saved him, and even if they had the burns would make him wish he’d died. But like every other day, he just kept walking.

He was a coward. He knew it, but he was helpless. A week or two before Mr Hatch had stood up as and announced himself done, he was weary of totalling the missing children. Seemed like every time he thought he was done, he was given 50 or a hundred names to check out. He didn’t say all that. Just, “i’m done.” Put on his waistcoat, and walked out. There was a rush to follow him, just to see what he’d do next. Mr Hatch did not take the elevator. Instead, he walked up the fire stores to the 10th floor, which had a balcony for just these events, he walked up to the railing and then, seemingly without a thought, stepped up on it and kept going. There were still people trailing, trying to see what was going on, some of them still on the stairs. But as soon as it happened the clapping began, and cries of “Good old Hatch! I wish I had that much nerve!”

Mr Mooney clapped like the rest, but inside he was wondering when his day would come. It was one of the few choices he got to make for himself, and he couldn’t bear to use it, not yet.

The rest of the day passed like always, and then he went home, ate the required evening meal with his customized food, and then went to bed, hoping that this night, unlike all the others, would make his decision for him.

Think you can kill me?

A Depression Survivor Tale

I think not. Forces stronger than you have tried, and I’m still here. These unnamed forces have been gunning for me for as long as I can remember, and they’re only getting weaker. Every so often they’ll launch an attack for no reason, as if my ability to survive this long is pissing them off and they want another shot at me.

If it were up to me, I’d ask them to stop going after people who are so much younger than I am, just leave them alone, and come after me instead. Go ahead. Just try.

It’s not as if I’ve given up, or I’ve had a good long life and I’m ready to go. I’ve barely begun. No, I’m a lot stronger than the first time they came for me, when I was a child and already disillusioned with the bright shiny life that looked so different in books. I once wished to be an overachiever, or at least an achiever, so I started young with my depression. Anyone who took the time to look closely would have noticed there was something wrong with me, but no one looked. People around me were far too busy, and didn’t believe in the whole depression/mental illness thing.

When a diagnosis finally showed up, in my 30’s, I told my stepmother, and she scoffed, in that way she had to indicate that my problems were so stupid she was surprised I’d lived as long as I had. “Oh, you can just pull yourself out of that,” she said, as if it was just me feeling sorry for myself. She never felt sorry for herself – the world was black and white, there was good (her) and there was bad (me) and depression was just more evidence that I had failed.

Suicide takes too many good people every day. (This is where I would usually point out that it leaves the bad ones, like me, behind, but that’s an unsuccessful joke.) And it’s not that people can be strong and fight it off, it’s not a question of anyone being stronger or weaker, it’s far more complicated than that. I’ve been very lucky in my circumstances and in the people I choose to be in my life. I’ve been on my own since I was 18, and the hardest person to convince that my life is worth living, besides depression, is me.

Depression is different for everyone, which is one reason it’s so difficult to treat. Recovery or learning to live with is different for everyone, and suicide is different for everyone. There are no one size fits all answers, though if you ask a forum of random individuals online, many people have THE ANSWER, when what they mean to say is that they have an answer that worked for THEM. Fools. We’re not all the same.

I have survived this long, and while I can’t say it’s been a pleasure arguing with depression, it is a pleasure to still be here. Depression can come at me if it wants, and I assume I will keep pushing back. My incidents are not as long nor as deep as they once were, giving me time to push through it. Or let it wash through me and feel the sadness without thinking it’s terminal.

I’m learning how to write again. I used to be pretty good at it.

There’s always hope.

 

 

Waves

Sometimes I remember things, especially lately, things that happened so long ago and so far away that I’d all but forgotten them. There’s no reason to remember, they just come unbidden, random thoughts floating in and out as if I’ve nothing else to do but remember things that happened in another lifetime. It’s not as if I don’t have enough to remember in this lifetime, more than I can keep up with most days, but it’s only partially up to me.

Lately it’s the waves, and not the waves from our Oregon coasts, which honestly I’ve never been in, but waves from the Southern California coast where I grew up. Not on the coast, I didn’t grow up on the coast, we weren’t coastal people, we were more drive-to-the-coast people.

And what I remember most was swimming out to the waves, and swimming past them, because they annoyed me so much, all that crashing on the shore. Sometimes they’d pull me under and I’d come back up snorting salt water and impatent. I’d swim through the waves and keep going, out where there were no waves, and the sea was still and placid, except for the lapping sounds it would make against our bodies. We could see the shore, a vague outline on the horizon. I’ve never been good at seeing without massive doses of help, so none of it was clear to me. My brother may have swum out with me, but otherwise there were no other people. No surfers that far out, because there were no waves, and honestly, I’m not sure most people would feel comfortable that far from shore, so far that if I were to drown no one would notice until it was time to go home and I wasn’t there. 

By the time I had started swimming past the waves as a child I’d already developed a personality disorder. Some people call this being crazy, some people don’t, and many people live all their lives with one and never know. Life is difficult with a personality disorder. Life is difficult without one too, it’s just a little variety in the “life is crazy” departnent. Anyway, I seemed to have known my thoughts weren’t normal, so I hid them. The things in my head weren’t fit for others to hear. I always knew who I was, so it wasn’t out of my mind crazy, but I knew it wasn’t quite right. It felt right, to me, but I took pains to keep myself under wraps so people wouldn’t know. Mostly people thought I was weird, and quiet, and that I liked to read a lot. Those things are still true, but I’m much bigger now and know how wrong my thoughts were. More than I knew.

Out past the waves there was no one to judge me. There weren’t even people to see me, so how could they judge me? And while I existed in my quiet little space out on the ocean, swimming around like some kind of mutant dolphin, I could tell myself that when I got back I’d be normal, though mostly I’d look towards shore and think about all those people who had no idea I existed. Heading back to shore was always done with reluctance, and I’d usually end up someplace I hadn’t counted on, but that I’m used to now. Landing someplace unexpected is no big deal to me — I could always move on or stay there, and while doing that at nine wouldn’t really work, now it’s up to me, should I happen to take a wrong turn.

Flirting with Depression

Not right now, but on and off lately. Depression can get better, and it can get worse, and it can flop up and down as if it can’t decide. Pain seems to make it worse, for me anyway. 

Today we went to see Wonder Woman, and when I stood up afterward, with Mr C helping, I fell right back down. He pulled me up again, and my legs refused to hold me up, and by then a line had started to form behind Mr C, trying to get out, watching the old woman who couldn’t stand.  Finally we had a successful effort, and I kept my head down and tried to avoid being seen as I slowly walked out, my legs weak. Jello-ish.

It was a beautiful day outside today. We went out for breakfast with friends who were in town for a couple of days. I was sorry they had to go back to St Louis but it is where they live. 

Last week I injured my back, painfully but non lethally, and for several days I concentrated on that. 

It went away,  and I resumed my life. Work is not being demanding right now, which is good because I’m weak, physically and emotionally. I want to do something more with my life but I’m not sure how. I want to do something useful and help people. I want to write children’s books, but don’t know where to start. I want to write a basic business book, but feel I need a co-author and don’t know where to find one.

At these times the depression likes to peek in and see if it’s a good time to go on full rampage. I chase it away, but sometimes I cry first. 

I have tremors, and some days are worse than others. I’m often unable to breathe, as if I’m assinking for my body to do too much, but it shouldn’t be. At lunch on  Sunday I got up and headed for the restroom. By the time I got there I was weak with the feeling that I can best describe as close to death. It’s exhausting. 

I get by, though sometimes I’m not sure how. I get headaches daily, something I used to be free from. I take daily naps because I can’t keep my eyes  open. I’m unstable, physically. Undecided,  emotionally. 

I have no one close enough to to share this with, and why should I? I’m not good with people. Besides, I’m going to give my doctor a crack at it next week. He should be thrilled.

If I can keep from dying or falling down may be I’ll get an answer for the pain, the headaches, the tremors, the exhaustion. 

Maybe I can find something to write about. Instead of reasons why I can’t. 

I’ll keep my flirtations to the bare minimum while I remember this is just a phase. It happens. 

To My Mother

Deer Mom, Happy Mother’s Day. 

I’m not sure I ever really knew you, or you me. I always called on Mother’s Day, when you had a phone, which would have been when you were still alive, and I always played my assigned role – I was cheerful and entertaining and obnoxiously funny. In the run up to Mother’s Day I would order flowers and look for the perfect greeting card, which was really hard. Sure, I loved you, still do, but you were not the “always there with me mom,” or the “you taught me everything mom,” or the “let’s hang out and bake cookies mom.” If either of us were in the same house at night you’d begoing out to drink, because that was fun, even if you had to take us along and park us in one of the corner booths in the dark where we wouldn’t bother anyone.

At the same time, if I needed a safe place to hang out while between traumas, without anyone else finding out I was in town, you’d let me hide out at your place and not tell anyone. I only had to do that once, but the option was a lifesaver. I knew you’d never turn me away if I showed up, though I don’t think I ever did without notice. Just in case you were otherwise busy.

I was your first, but not your favorite, and that’s okay. We’re all different people, aren’t we? I would frantically try to get your attention, I would talk and talk and make you laugh, but it was never enough. But I was whiny and overly sensitive, quick to offend and slow to forget little wounds. When I was starting to be a teenager I was visiting for a few days, and when your husband came to “tuck me in” and stuck his tongue down my throat you stood in the doorway and laughed, both of you having had too much to drink. A couple of years later you took us to visit friends of yours, and I was at that awkward stage that has never left. Your friends made fun of me, told you to leave me there with them and they’d send me home once I got pregnant. And you were there, laughing with them, wanting to be part of the group so much that you would give me up, a sacrifice to earn their affection.

I understand that. It’s pretty amazing to be a part of something, isn’t it?

I understand, but I didn’t understand then. Instead I took the lessons you gave me and made them a part of me.

My battery is almost dead, so I’ll write more tomorrow. Sounds like our correspondence when I was growing up, doesn’t it?

Lies, Lies, and Damn Lies

My entire world view has been challenged, and it’s not an idea I like.

I don’t lie. Oh sure, the occasional what-they-call-white-lie, which I don’t think makes them any better, but they sure are easy. I could tell you about my white lies, but now that lies are just alternative facts, what’s the point?

I grew up as a well-known liar, famous amongst my family for my confabulations and flights of imagination. Now I know I was just telling my version, which is just as valid as any other. Mostly my lies weren’t intentional – they came about because I didn’t know what was going on. Were dad and step mom talking, or not talking? My answer to any given question could be read as a lie based on that information, but it wasn’t as if we had flashing signs to let us know, and I was mostly concentrating on not getting disparaged or laughed at or seen. 

After being such an unsuccessful liar, I left home and found no reason to lie. Besides, isn’t truth better? And it isn’t nice to lie to people, is it? I studied history, on my own, believing what I read because I read trusted historians. 

My resumes were truth, my degrees were earned and not made up, my backstory was true as I remembered it. My book was written with as much truth as I could stand. Or did I only think it was the truth?

How stupid I was! And after all these years of telling the truth, even if it was to my detriment, I find out that it’s not necessary! It’s not as if anyone else would notice, or call me on it, right?

I herewith alter some of my history.

I’m an heiress, but I left that life behind to serve the poor. My last stint in Calcutta was both spiritually rewarding and I saved upwards of several thousand in two days. I also gave lots off morphine to the dying because no one needs to die in pain. 

After completing my double degrees in accounting and English, I started a multi-million corporation. Blah blah blah. Oh, and I was at the Civil War, and the Bowling Green Massacre, as well as, I’m sure, many other places where I saved civilization with either my excellent diplomatic skills and/or superior fighting skills. Got a little head injury at Antietam, so I don’t always remember very well. 

And my book was a bestseller. 

Hahaha!

That’s what we’ve come to. Anything is true if you believe it, and it doesn’t matter if history or science say anything different, because it’s all a left wing conspiracy. Any batshit crazy writer can make masses of people think they only matter, and if they make sure they get theirs, the rest of humanity doesn’t matter. 

I used to be all about peace, love, equality, and tranquillity, but forget about that. It counts for nothing. I just want my billions, y’know?

Wastelands

We saw you standing there, but when you didn’t speak or look us in the eye or even move, we assumed you’d been taken, at least your mind, and there was nothing left but your outer shell. Evie walked up to you, to the back just in case, and when she pushed against your camo shirt you toppled, first dropping to your knees, then tipping over on your side.
We’d never seen you not standing, and at first we just looked at your shell. You were much shorter. We’d always thought of you as a giant, but an empty shell is nothing to fear.

We’d never been sure which side you were on, your ideology shifting back and forth so frequently we’d almost shot you a time or two.

That should be I. I almost shot you. We sounds like an unavoidable group action, and I’ve never liked responsibility all that well. Gregor said some prayers, or what I took to be prayers. I still don’t understand his language, much less his religion. It seemed like a relic of a past we’d never had, but we’d probably just forgotten. Some of us are non-believers, but some are not. We gave each other a pass.

Now I’ll never have a chance to ask what you really believed, nor would I know what you’d seen when you’d been behind the screen. Last time I saw you, you said you weren’t ready to talk about it, and so I’d waited, but now that chance was gone. You’d come out from behind it pale and shaking, as if you’d seen something horrible, something unspeakable. No one else had been there, so it looked as if I might have to go behind it myself to see what was there. But like I said, I’m not a fan of responsibility or taking the lead, so I probably wouldn’t.

Would you be surprised if I told you I was scared? All the time scared, not just when we came across an encampment, or one of them. Many of them liked violence, they liked to kill or be killed, though even better was maiming and leaving shattered bodies behind to die slower, so we had time to watch one last sunrise, one last sunset. Many of them just liked to pretend to do us harm, and some didn’t care one way or the other. 

We came across two of those just the day before. They were sitting outside an abandoned Wal-Mart, surrounded by their trash from raiding the Wal-Mart. Maybe it was just a good time for them, fat and bloated, sleepy with carbs. We walked up on them, our weapons out, but they watched us. “We left plenty for ya,” the fat one with the Mohawk said. There were more of us than there were of them, but they still appeared unconcerned.

“Just leave them,” Marco said, “let’s get some supplies,” and he walked toward the entrance, dragging his right leg. He’d never been the same since Lincoln.

It seemed a good idea to me, so Evie and I began to follow him. I still, after all this time, hate the sight of blood.

We knew Larry would not be satisfied. “They’ll come up behind us, idiots,” Larry said, and we heard the two shots, one right after another, as we started foraging.

“Baby wipes, Evie was muttering, “i’ve got to find some baby wipes.”
(And I’m going to lunch.)