Sunday, June 02, 2019

Dystopener

I lie about my age. If people knew I was born on The Day, I'm positive I'd be banished from our community, to the wilderness to fend for myself.

Don't get me wrong, I could totally survive on my own, even within the community, I have been fending for myself for years. Well, if you don't count my older brother Ben, though I don't, I rarely see him these days and he pretends not to know me.

Things are livable now, but the early years were the hardest. Miss Maureen tries not to dwell on it, but some days when she's feeling particularly sad, she tells us about The Day. People have tried to give it other names, but it seems distasteful, so mostly we just call it The Day.

I still have some canned food, but I know at this point, everything is expired. The cans are rusty, the labels disintegrating and most worrisome of all, more and more are starting to bulge. Dad said to avoid bulging cans, that eating from them could bring pain worse than the feeling of starving, though that's hard to imagine.

So, I ration. Some days there isn't much to eat and I go to bed early with a strong headache and my arms wrapped tightly around my grumbling stomach, but there hasn't been a day yet where I haven't had anything at all to eat. I could open more of the cans, but I'm scared to find out what happens when they're all gone.

The saving grace is my vegetable garden. When people realized life as they knew it was over, they raided the grocery stores and restaurants first. During one of his foraging trips, my dad had encountered a group planning to break into a nearby hardware store. Eventually it would be looted for building materials, but their aim was the seeds, potting soil and plants.

So my garden guarantees I'll have food, as long as I have access to water. But, each summer, it gets harder and harder, the period without reliable access to water gets longer and longer. Soon the food will be gone and the water, too. Every summer, people die from the heat and lack of water.

I will not be one of them. I will have to leave. Eventually. Sooner than I'd like.

~~~
(How I'd open a dystopian novel.)

Saturday, May 04, 2019

who am I today?

Who I am, my identity, is something I've tried to understand and write about over the years. Clearly, it hasn't been something I've made a priority, as it seems like so many posts start out this exact same way.

So, who am I today?  Well, it's a Saturday.  So I'm a coffee drinker and my Pandora station of the day is Saturday Morning Coffee. With the wife and daughter off seeing the latest Avengers movie, I've been at home with my son.  He's had a chill day of watching acapella groups on YouTube and hanging out outside.  At the moment, he's gone over to visit his grandma, so I've grabbed the laptop, gone out to the patio and thought I'd just write a little bit.  The skies are blue, there's a breeze, the sun is out and the palm trees are rustling and the birds are chirping.  Going to sit down at the table, I scared a squirrel who was hanging out on the table.  Beautiful Southern California day.  I've shaved, gotten some things done off my to do list and also not been stressed out or anxious about all the stuff I think I need to do.  Have knocked a few things off my list that have been there since we moved.  The list will always exceed what I can do, but I'm not going to stress about it.

So, who am I today?  I'm chill.  I'm going to get some stuff done, but I'm not going to make my whole Saturday into a crush of self-imposed busyness.  I'm going to stop eating cookies and banana bread, have some carrots and veggies and drink my water and take my vitamins.  And prepare for the noise that will herald the return of Lori and Ellie so that it doesn't feel like an interruption or disruption to my plans.

Happy weekend, friends!