"She doesn't smile anymore. She can't really. Her muscles are lax and the rot has deformed her face. And because of all that she cannot smile and will never smile like she used to. Because she is dead and the dead don't smile. Not even if they could.
I look out the window. The gray, lifeless light filtering through the clouds.
There are potholes in the road filled with water from the rain the night before. I collect water from the holes in the roof. I have to filter out the stones from the shingles, but it drinks okay.
And it is enough. Because I am only taking care of one.
I saw another person the other day. Was a man, younger than myself. Probably early twenties. We probably would have been smart to meet. To pool effort and resources. But I could see it in his eyes just as much as he saw it in mine when he looked up to the porch.
He had barely lived his life, and yet the world had stopped around him. He would never grow up because there wasn't anyone to grow up with. What is really the measure of getting older otherwise?
Sure you have the aches and pain. I have those more often lately.
But without a mirror there is nothing really to any of it.
You are just existing, and that means exactly shit.
I am alone, and I never thought I would end up that way. I had such hopes for us. So many dreams. I had made plans. A crazy number of plans, all to try and trick myself into thinking it would last forever. If I made enough plans then this couldn't end. It couldn't end until things were done. But I always knew that it wasn't going to change things. One day it would end and that would be that.
At best I would give her a happy life.
And I miss her smile most of all.
I am tired. I simply want to sleep, but my body refuses to stop on me, and I am not the sort to take my mortality into my own hands.
The water tastes gritty even after I have filtered it.
She doesn't smell anymore. Enough holes in the room to keep it filtered, and the rot is mostly done. I take off the busier parts of her and bury them. It is gruesome work, but I don't have the heart to bury the entire thing.
It is just a body, but it is her body.
She is gone, but this is all I have left in the world.
Sometimes I wake up and I forget. Most of the time it is because my dreams have been so vivid. With the world like this I suppose my mind just wants a place to sit that isn't horrifying. So I dream of her and of waking up to a morning coffee and sitting on the porch at all times of the year.
Probably what made her sick now that I think on it.
Electricity is still going. Not sure how. At least I have the food I need.
I don't want the food though.
I think the young man and I have another thing in common. Even though we both feel defeat we just keep on going. He keeps on walking towards somewhere, and I refuse to leave my house.
Because I have all the time in the world. There is nothing out there to kill me. Any of the groups of looters have died by now or moved on. I am completely safe, and my future is assured so long as my body holds out.
I have all the time in the world to listen to my books or to do bird watching.
Maybe not the bird watching.
I haven't heard a bird in over a week.
Literally, there is nothing truly stopping me from simply doing all the things I always wanted to do at this point in my life. My car still works, and I have plenty of supplies. I could go anywhere I could ever want.
But the one person I wanted to do all those things with won't smile anymore.
And I won't leave her behind.
The world is so gray today.
I am just waiting for a sunny day before I try to move her downstairs.
I don't know how she will look on the porch. Out in the daylight.
But she always looked the most beautiful at dawn."
Person who sent me the above account included a picture. It is of the old, dilapidated house spoken of in the piece. So they claim. I don't recognize the home, though I do recognize the neighboring houses. Best I can tell, the house is supposed to be in the recently empty lot. But there is no building there now, and it doesn't look like the house that was there before.
Started snowing yesterday. Still snowing. Fluffy stuff. No good for building snowmen and difficult to keep off the walk. Especially with winds as they are.
Margaret has taken up listening to music. We have an old record player in the den from the previous owner.
Once I caught her listening to Canon in D.
I broke the record.