Friday, July 07, 2006

It's been nearly nine hours since I left my house of comfortable illumination into the world of darkness.

I have a red truck with shiny fenders and nice, leather seats. Two years old, that's it. Its a nice automobile. I also have a black Browning Hi-Power Mark III 9mm centerfire pistol that I keep in a safe at home. I flipped the numbers, and searched through emergency cash and other important papers, and quickly jammed that thing in my back pocket. I was pretty sure it was loaded, I usually keep it loaded, just in case. I'm a cautious guy, and I have more than once went downstairs with that pistol in my two hands, just to make sure no ones there. Sometimes I get these feelings, like people are in my house, and when I moved out I made sure I would be prepared.
Paranoid? Yeah. Among other things.

So, I jumped in my truck. Took about $200 dollars with me, and cruised the streets of the night. Very few people around, though I saw a few hoodlums walking about on the street, in small groups. But I also saw police cars on slow patrols. Still, I didn't feel completely safe. I stayed close to the orange lightposts and drove quickly.

I wish I could go back to sleep and try to talk to Tereal about this whole ordeal... but I must write these words down. Its for mental stability. I've been writing in blogs before blogs were called blogs. Day-by-day journalism is necessary for my activities, my occasional black-outs and periods of amnesia. Furthermore, keeping my memories on the web or even on paper is a obsessive compulsive thing of mine, and though I have had plenty of practice to ignore these feelings, the black-outs hit me less frequently if I keep my hungers satisfied. But at least, for this reason, I might have the most wordy blog on this subject. I don't think too many others are typing on the internet right now; shock seems to grip everyone I have talked to on the phone. People who have left their minds unexplored and weak. Its a shame, but it seems that I am immune to the anxiety this phenomenon is causing around the world. I don't mean to brag.

I have more things to tell about myself, as my story would not complete with a background. Wait.

I finally pulled up to my nearest Safeway. There were quite a few cars in the parking lot; it seems other people had the same idea as I did. In the front of the sliding glass doors, a crowd.

My pistol in my back pocket, I made quick steps to the crowd, where a few police men and a guy in military uniform stood erect. They were slowly checking IDs, letting one person in every five minutes, with an aid. What was this?

"Hey, man, you know what's going on?" I asked a bearded guy in a long brown jacket next to me.

"They're doin' rations. Only US citizens with valid driver's licenses. Only $35 dollars can be spent on food, per person, and they've jacked the prices. Doing a full body search for weapons, too. Fun stuff, aye?"

What?! I had planned to come back in a truck full of food that I could use for the next month.

"They will be distributing food supplies later, they say, but who knows when that's going to get started, and how long is that going to last? No sunlight. No plants. No more food than what God's put down here already."
"Thanks man. I guess I'll get in line." The guy eyed me for a few seconds, and then looked ahead again. He seemed pretty polite and informative.

I checked my pockets for my ID. And guess what! Nothing. I had forgot to bring it. Now I would have to go back home, without anything. I started to leave.

"Where you goin'?" The bearded dude asked.

"Forgot my ID, man. I'll be back soon." I gave a half-grin. The guy looked from side to side, shuffled back a little, and tossed his head as if to say, "Come here."

Puzzled, I tentatively approached.

"I don't have mine either. But I do have this." The guy pulled his overcoat out of the way, revealing a silver pistol, a bit heftier than mine. I pinched my eyes to slits as if to ask him what the deal was.

"I'm not a citizen. I'm an IA from Canada." It took me a few minutes to realize he was an illegal alien, though his accent was fine and he didn't look shabby at all. "Listen, a bunch of us can't get in there, and we've been standing around here since the sun had a day off. My amigo's got a blowtorch, and we're opening up this place up from the loading bay. How does it sound? I know you have a weapon of your own."

Wow. This guy was actually plotting some criminal activity, and he wanted me in. Okay...

"I don't really have the heart to shoot people, man, if it came down to it, you know."

He looked down disapprovingly, and I was worried he would threaten me with his gun.

"Alright, then. Don't help your fellow men. Whatever, right, aye? I have to tell you that I'll start shooting if you make a move to those officers, but, hey, see you later."

Well, he was still a nice guy, even if a criminal. I walked back to my truck, got in, and started driving out of the parking lot.

Suddenly, while I watched through my window, the military guy up front and three policemen ran around the corner of the Safeway, leaving one police officer remaining to hold the crowd back. I had a funny feeling I should get over there, so I parked my truck and ran back over to the crowd.

As I ran up next to the beard-guy, I heard some loud radio chatter, and the policeman up front began moving off to the side. And that's when the crowd charged. There must have been forty people, and at least two guys with guns. We all went haywire, massing towards the sliding doors, and entering a world of plenty. I became a looter!

It was a surreal experience, and I am no stranger to surreality. Have you ever found yourself doing things you wouldn't usually do, just because you're already caught up in the heat of things. I first did this when I got in a fight with a kid in fifth grade, and I got a rush out of this experience. Its a good rush, a healthy rush. Very uplifting.

I gave only a glance to the guy with the beard as we ran through the glass doors, and then we got separated. Nice knowing him. I grabbed a shopping cart and dashed for the food aisle. The produce aisle was pretty empty, and so I pushed forward, nearly riding on the top of my cart, and slid to a stop into the arctic fruit area. I grabbed armloads of fruit, I didn't care what I grabbed, and let it mash in the bottom of my cart. I must have gotten four armloads of fruit.

Too much adrenaline, I wasn't thinking clearly. While throwing eight pineapples into my cart, I realized why there wasn't anyone in this section. Food that required a refrigerator were vastly inferior to other foods; what if this chaos caused a power failure? Where would I be then, with a bunch of decaying fruit? Stupid, stupid, stupid. I realized this in a second, made a quick movement around an aisle, nearly crashed into a woman with frizzy orange hair, and made a gamble on the next aisle over.

Wine and other alcohols. No, I did not want to drink my life away through the apocalypse. Funny how many people were colliding in this one, throwing as much as they could into their carts. The smell of red wine was rich, and I realized someone had thrown an entire section of wine bottles onto the floor, shattering them.

Next aisle: snacks and cereals and so forth. I was surprised for a moment after hearing three gunshots on another side of the store. I threw everything from Nutrigrain bars to Cheez-Its to Frosted Flakes into my cart. I had already spent too long in the grocery store, and I felt my time was running out. After slamming a box of dry soup mixes into my overloaded cart, I grabbed a thing of Vault on the way out, along, with, of all things, Ice Cream insta-shell.

I didn't see the police or military at all. I heard them, definitely. Shouting, gunshots, radios blaring. They didn't come into contact with me, and I got my cart going so fast through the glass doors they wouldn't have a chance. I lost the aforementioned Frosted Flakes and a few glass bottles of salsa on my ride, but I got to my red truck in a second, lifted the shopping cart itself into the truck, on its side, so it wouldn't roll around.

Then I got in, and rode home. It was 5:11 AM when I got home.

And, my cup of noodles is done in the microwave downstairs, so I'll continue the rest of the story later. I will tell you, however, that it is now, what, 2:20 PM, and there is still no sign of the sun. Or moon. Or stars.

Adios, I should be back soon.

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