UnBooks:A Post Apocalyptic Journal
My sanity is slipping. My grip in reality is loosening. I can't let go. If I write, I'll know what's real, and what's fake. I think I'm seeing things, though that could just be my eyes working properly. Would gouging them due the trick?
I have never gotten used to knowing that everything has changed. I don't ever wake up in the morning accepting my fate, and then move on with my life. Half the time, I don't even sleep; I merely stare at the lead-lined ceiling, thinking of the past, longing for it. Sometimes, if I stare long enough, I'm not in this miserable hole, but back to the time when the world was needlessly complex. Back then, I didn't need to care for simple necessities like food, water, or shelter, but other, more trivial matters. Back then, the news was important, and what happened thousands of miles away had just as much emphasis as what happened to me. Now, I don't care, and its killing me. Nostalgia is useless now, along with a whole other set of emotions. Love, empathy, kindness, hope: all destroyed by the bombs, and erased by the fallout. I must sound completely shallow right now, complaining about my superficial problems while everyone else is dying slowly. What's that? Everyone you have ever loved and cared for was killed in the nuclear blast, and your skin's peeling of from radiation exposure? That's quite sad, but how about my insomnia?
I've been preparing for the End for years. Each day, the End consumed my mind, filling me with an undying urge to survive. I tried to ignore what was happening — the signs on the news, societies slowly crumbling — to keep a semblance of sanity, but my survival urge superseded everything else. Years ago, I started to build. While everyone else would perish, I was to stay alive, protected from the elements in this wretched hole. Little by little, I began to build my coffin, but this tomb was to keep me alive, at least physically. I would fill this tomb with all the necessary materials to guide me to the afterlife, like the ancient Egyptians, except without the spells or the jackal-headed deity. They called me a madman, a raving lunatic; granted, I was building an underground shelter (a not very common hobby), but everyone could've seen the signs, right? They chose to ignore what was right in front of them, and they payed with their lives.
When the End actually came, I felt empty. Maybe someone who was sane would feel depression at the prospect of spending the rest of their life in a barren wasteland, but I was merely empty. Foolishly, I thought that with the End there would be a cleansing of the Earth, a baptismal fire to purify it. I was wrong. There was no redemption. No punishment. No Dharma. Nothing but what is. Fortunately, I was alone, even when the world was still alive. Imagine trying to ration food, dispose of waste, fix broken filters, or do any other mundane task while mourning the loss of a loved one. I don't think I could bear it. It'd be too inconvenient.
Its raining today. I can hear it through the pipes. Maybe the world is recovering, leaving the Human race to slowly die. The Earth has survived for billions of years, and a stubborn species of primates, even with a massive amount of explosive weaponry, shouldn't be able to destroy it. Possibly many years into the future, the Earth will be green and fruitful, and be filled with life once again, and we'll all be but forgotten. But not now, the scars are too deep. Reminds me of a poem I heard.
I haven't stepped outside of this bunker, and I currently have no intention to. The risks are far too great, and the rewards too little to warrant such risks, but, I also have no intention to live the rest of my life in a dimly lit hole. Perhaps soon, I could muster up the courage — or the stupidity — to open the steel doors to the outside world. Eventually, I'll have to; even with strict rationing, the canned food is disappearing quickly, and the water from last week's rainstorm is drying up fast. I shouldn't worry if I leave: the worst case scenario is me dying a painful, drawn out death from cancer, starvation, or a combination of the two, and considering my current circumstances, maybe that isn't such a bad thing.
The enemy is ennui. It isn't radiation, it isn't starvation, and it definitely isn't communism. The enemy sometimes sneaks up on you, and grabs hold of you, never letting go. The enemy feeds on you until you're nothing but a bloated carcass. Sometimes it's tolerable, but ennui is always there. I should be rambling of more serious things, but the boredom can kill too. I should have some goals. Back then, reaching goals was a way I could look forward to the future. Maybe that'd work. A goal!
My goal is to think of one soon. Thinking's all I ever do now.
Food is running low, and water, same as the food. The lights started to flicker today, sometimes going completely dark. For an hour, this hole was purged of light. Pitch black. Gasoline is running out, soon I'll have to siphon it out. The filter is still acting strange, occasionally making clanging noises before resuming its work. Yesterday, the water tasted funny, and I had to get myself tested. I'm okay for now, but soon, my fortune will run out.
Today, I even thought of going outside; stared at the old NBC suit, and the rifle. I wondered why I brought those two things in here. I've been watching too much movies, me thinking I could don some radiation suit with a gun in my hand, shooting raiders and overzealous scavengers while protecting orphans from baddies. By the time I get there, feeling like a hero, the orphans would be cannibalized by said raiders. No use in saving bloody pint-sized leftovers.
My continued foray into agriculture has yet to produce any produce: the tomatoes are much too small for my liking, and the potatoes have all died. I've been diverting over 30% of my energy output on growing the plants, yet nothing I try seems to work. Unfortunately, if I ever get a green thumb, it'll be from Gangrene. Now, enough of my awful jokes. The Emergency Radio doesn't seem to work. I usually can't get the hand crank to work, and when it does startup, all I hear is static. No calming message telling us to stay indoors and avoid the windows. Just white noise.
It was a clear Sunday afternoon when the sirens wailed, piercing the cool air with its frightening sound. It was sunny and perfect when the bombs fell. Above us, the bombers blotted the Sunday sky. I don't think the sky's been clear since then, and a part of my mind says it won't ever be. I wonder why I keep on writing. It only brings back awful memories that I want to repress. I know I can't take a memory and forget, but I wish I could at least lock the unpleasant memories in a safe and then dump it at the bottom of the ocean. Some might say that I should face my fears and let go of my anxiety, but everyone's dead. I know it.
I do have some good news at last. I was observing the food left and found that I only had a three weeks supply left. Normally, that would turn me angsty and melodramatic, but, that means now I'm forced to go outside to scavenge! In a way, that's me facing my fears, albeit, I'll have a HAZMAT suit and a bolt action rifle with me. I must be cheating.
I finally went outside today. The area was desolate; nothing but the usual two-headed cockroaches and the fifteen-kilogram mutant rats in sight. With my HAZMAT suit on and rifle under arm I proceeded to the local grocery store, hoping to find a supply of canned foods—or at least some smaller condoms, as the ones in my medical kit keep slipping off. With my luck, I wasn't expecting to find anything, but to my delight I chanced upon three full cases of Spam®—and an entire pallet of Trojan Little Man™. Now the only problem was getting my loot back to the bunker.
With some planks and rope, I roughed out a makeshift sled to transport the swag back home. But the cases of well-spiced meat particles were massive—so heavy that I only managed to get the last one in just before sunset. As I closed the door behind me I saw, or imagined I saw, figures moving about in the shadows. With a heavy heart, I realized that a final trip to retrieve my prized latex love-covers would have to wait until the morrow.
The writer of this article has become hopelessly, helplessly stuck.