Happy birthday to me. Yup. It’s my birthday.
How old am I? 35 right? I forget. It seems like I haven’t thought of my age in a long time. Maybe I’m 36 now. I forget. I guess it doesn’t matter. If Becca and Sophie hadn’t thrown a small party for me today I would have completely forgotten about the whole thing.
So yeah. What’d I get for my birthday? I guess it could be argued that my family arriving here on campus was the present I got. Granted, my present didn’t quite arrive on the day itself, but they’re here now, and that means more to me than any other present I’ve ever gotten.
The present I still haven’t gotten? The wall’s completion. We’re still building that bitch. I really thought we could’ve finished it yesterday, but we had some delays with a broken chainsaw, and the backhoe needed some maintenance, and the process just ground to a near halt. I think all of yesterday we got maybe 30 feet of wall up, and that was with a huge work crew going at it all day in the drizzle.
What else happened yesterday? I Um.. nothing. Caleb was awake all day in his bed, talking with Sophie. He’s doing much better, and at the end of the day yesterday Doc Lindsey told him he could walk around a little bit in the room, which he jumped at. Well, he didn’t literally jump at it, it was more of a “crawled out of bed with a wince at it.” I’m happy to report that he was moving about the room pretty well, and it looks like he’ll be good to go to move about on his own in a couple days. He might need a cane for a smidge, but then I can make jokes about how he’s an old bitch.
Heh. One more good reason to have a brother around. Merciless ridicule.
After he got back to bed, exhausted I might add, we fed him his first decent meal in months, and he slept the sleep of babies. It was funny. I joke and bullshit and everything about it, but I love that man. He’s my older brother, we grew up together, and knowing he’s still alive makes me a happy man. I wonder now where the fuck my other two brothers are? I know they were both deployed, but where are they now? A deployment in the Navy could be months on a boat, which would certainly increase their chances of survival dramatically, but my brother Thomas was in the SEALs, and he was somewhere on the ground, doing something dangerous when this all started. I don’t know where he was, or what he was doing back in June, but I hope to hell he’s doing decent.
I know one thing: they make SEALs tough, and Thomas was a man among men. I don’t care if he was gay or not, he was more hardcore than a hundred straight men.
Have I mentioned that Tom was gay? I don’t remember. We kept it under wraps for years because of my dad. Dad was a wee bit of a homophobe, and the whole don’t ask don’t tell bullshit was a real drag for Tom. He had to keep his sexual preference on the DL for years just to do what he wanted to do with his life. It sucks that the military would turn away a Grade A special operations operator just because when he’s got time off he chooses to sleep with men.
Don’t judge my brother Mr. Journal. Judge me all you want but leave him out of this. He’s a decorated hero, and the last thing you want to do is go after my family. My brothers and sister can call him a faggot until we turn blue in the face but if you do it, I’ll murder you. It’s strange, but it’s how we roll.
I hope Tom is okay.
So today was my birthday. Martin took a crew with the new dualie and a humvee out to scour the area around here for usable metal and to remove the solar panels from as many places as possible. Amazingly, he was able to clear out two houses of their panels today, as well as find a few hundred pounds of scrap metal that he says he can salvage into good shit. At some point though, we’ll have to start cannibalizing cars and shit to get the raw materials we need. The ultimate in recycling.
Martin and his crew returned late, around 8pm. He said the entire area that his team moved through today was utterly and completely empty of all signs of undead, or assholes. He did see a few animals moving around. I guess there were one or two deer moving about, but no one got a clean shot off, so at some point when he heads out again, they’re going to add “shoot deer” to their agenda. As I’ve said a shitload already, we desperately need wild game to supplement our food consumption. Even with all the food from Gilbert’s warehouse, and the crops, and the cows, and the chickens, and fishing out of Auburn Lake, we still need to gather as much to eat as possible.
Martin did say that when they swung by MGR there were a fair amount of undead roaming in the streets, but the numbers were manageable. Once again the HRT’s plow blade comes to the rescue. As long as they maintain a steady speed, and deal with the undead that are wherever they stop quickly, they can get in and out fast. Mike is always waiting at the heavy duty doors when we arrive now, and he and Patty hop out to help clear the space. What does suck is the large amount of bodies piling up in the area. We’ll need to remove those soon to draw less attention to the building. Plus there’s just a health concern.
Where was I? Oh yeah, so Sophie and Becca in their infinite wisdom gather a grass roots team and threw me a half assed birthday party, which I really kind of resented. I don’t need to be reminded that I am a year older now. I also didn’t want to waste resources on a party when we’re already struggling to make sure we get by.
They made two cakes. We’ve found boxes and boxes of cake mix and whatnot over the past year, and we’ve kept them nice and dry so many of them are still usable. We’ve got oil and eggs now too, so making them is possible. It was nice to get a cake. I won’t lie. We don’t have a lot of sweets lately, and mowing down on a nice cake with some year and a half old icing on it was awesome. Plus watching the kids smash frosting all over their mugs was a great time.
The older I get, the more joy I find in watching kids. Is that my paternal instinct kicking in? Is that my age showing? Dunno.
Martin’s crew came into the shindig about halfway through it, and joined in on the festivities. It was a nice way to welcome them back after a long day outside the wall. It was also good timing because we really needed to talk about our run back to the warehouse. Well actually the run back to the plumbing shop next to the warehouse.
After a long discussion, we decided that sooner was better than later, and we’re doing it tomorrow morning at about ten am. Everyone other than Mike and Patty will be going with us. I’m figuring we’re looking at maybe a three hour operation, and if we’re lucky, all we’ll run into is the undead milling about in that area of town. I realize the noise we made the other day was likely to draw more undead in to that area, which is to be expected.
What I am really hoping for is no Outsider presence. I can’t imagine they aren’t hurting right now. We’ve killed several of their people, and taken out of one their vehicles. I realize they probably have more vehicles on hand, but by now they HAVE to realize that coming near us will be costly. I just hope we’ve put enough of a hurting on them to send them away with their tails between their legs.
What might bother me as time goes on… is what the fuck is this factory they were talking about? Are they really enslaving people? Are they actually forcing women to have sex for food? Has humanity really fallen that fucking far this fucking fast?
Can I sit here, safe inside my large ass wall knowing that this is happening within driving distance? Knowing that I have the means and ability to make it right?
Blood will be spilled if I make that call.
But blood might be spilled if I don’t.
That’s a decision for another day. Tomorrow we hit the plumbing store. The day after that we are returning to try and finish the fucking wall here so we can finally move on to new and exciting projects that actually improve living conditions, as opposed to just stabilizing what we have now. Projects like finishing the hydro set up, installing the new solar panels, searching for more panels, and maybe, just maybe we can find more folks out there like my family that need a safe place to live.
Wish us luck tomorrow.
Happy birthday to me.