Thu, 21 May 2009 - 6:26 pm

Scavenging

Today has been mostly about supplies. I made sure that Ben was comfortable – he kept assuring me that he felt fine, just needed rest – and joined Thorpe, Masterson and Dillon to search the locale for food and water.

It’s easier to search other people’s homes if you don’t look at them too closely. Just focus on the cupboards and drawers and shelves; ignore the personal effects, the fading decorations, the unopened presents under the drooping trees. Go for those places that people put food and drink, check for second fridges, take the alcohol if that’s all that’s there.

I suppose one good thing about the bomb going off in the holiday season is that many had stocked their cupboards. I try not to think about the family members it was intended to feed.

It’s easier if you focus on every single tree’s bark and ignore the wood. The forest reaches too far and too deep, and it’s too empty for comfort.

We didn’t see any signs of shamblers in our searching, but we all kept weapons within each reach anyway. I don’t think any of us feel comfortable without something hard and swingable close by now. I still have the knife I got so many weeks ago – months now – tucked in the back of my waistband. I used to be scared of what it meant; now I know that I’d reach for it without thinking if I needed to. I don’t know what that says about me any more – I never liked the notion of pragmatism.

This bruised, scarred world is eroding all of us. We’re a part of it more fully than any of us would like, even though we haven’t embraced it as much as some have. The sad part is that I get it. I even get Bree and Kingston, the compromises made for survival. It doesn’t mean that I like it.

 

We managed to find enough food and liquid to keep us going for a little while. There was some comfort in that.

Ben hasn’t been eating much – he’s giving back almost as much as I’m giving him. I think he doesn’t think I’ve noticed, but I have. I’ve stopped taking my meal until he’s finished with his, because we can’t afford for any of it to be wasted. I figure that if I’m going to get sick, I’ve already done enough to catch it; eating his untouched food isn’t going to make any difference.

He’s cold, too. We’ve had to start carrying heavier blankets with us because of how cold it gets at night, but blankets just don’t seem to make any difference to him. When he lets me, I snuggle up to keep him warm. It seems like he only just thaws when morning rolls around and it’s time to get up. He says that he’s okay, but it can’t be good. I talked to Masterson about it and he doesn’t know what to make of it.

Matt’s leg seems to be healing all right, though. We’re all scared of infections with open wounds and no water to clean them, but between antibiotics and painfully-applied antiseptic, he seems to have avoided getting sick with it.

I’ve held his hand while his bandages are changed when I can, and while his grip is tight, he never complains. That’s not like the Matt I knew; he used to mutter something under his breath if he tore a nail or cut himself shaving. I just hope that he’s not hiding anything with this new stoicism of his.

They’re not good now, but they’re getting better. I have to believe that my boys are getting better.

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