Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 8

It's May seventeenth. I know this because the clock on the wall in the 7-11 said it was. This fact was also confirmed by the date on the watch I found hunting through the sporting goods store today. That means it's already been eight days. It's hard to believe it's been three days since I crawled out of the rubble of the Vera-Cross building. It seems that when it collapsed it didn't just fall in on itself like you see on TV. I suspect if it had, I wouldn't be here right now, wouldn't be laying on a therapeutic bed in someone's empty uptown apartment writing in my notebook under the dim light of two candles that smell of sugar cookies and pumpkin bread. No, I would have ended up a quickly forgotten red stain on the floor of what used to be a custodial closet, just another one of the hundreds of thousands.

The shock is beginning to wear-off and I'm starting to realize that there is no waking from this nightmare. Earlier today, as the sun was beginning to set and the evening rays were streaming through the countless columns of smoke, reflecting a kaleidoscope of light onto the piles of rubble, it hit me. It finally hit me that this is my new life, this desolation is my new reality. I had to sit down as a wave of emotions swallowed me bringing a toxic mixture of tears and nausea. I thought I was going to throw-up and pass-out at the same time. It was regrettably painful like an unexpected punch in the gut, but at least I was finally feeling something. It was the release from the numbness that I needed, a cleansing of sorts and the crossing of a gate that stood between two very different worlds. I realized then that it was time for me to say goodbye to the old and accept the new, no matter how bad it may be.

After searching for the last two days I have come to the conclusion that there is no one left in the city, at least no one left alive. I haven't been able to search the entire area but I've done enough walking and searching to realize that there is nothing here for me. Tomorrow I'm going to head to California and see if my mom is okay. I've checked every cell phone and land line I could find but nothing works, not even the internet. With no power or working phones in the city I still have no idea what happened or how extensive this mess is. For all I know, I could be the last person on earth. I fear the worst but hope for the best.

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