Another fight over food today, this one over a can of cashews. A can of fucking cashews. Does anybody even remember how cheap those things were? Two, maybe three dollars? Hell, they weren't even brand-name ones, just some generic-brand cashews from Wal-Mart or Giant. Are they even that important to our food stockpiles? I mean, I can understand the bigger things, like the breads, the meats, the vegetables, the fruits, and the like, but a can of cashews?
Still, it makes some sense. Every morsel of food could be the difference between life and death, I suppose... Rather, it makes more sense when Steve is the one saying it. It just sounds odd in my ears, though that doesn't reduce its importance. I just feel bad for Jenn - she was the one who got into the scuffle. The guy, one of the fourth-floor residents, just didn't want to give up the can. He started screaming and hollering at her, first about how ridiculous he thought it was, then about how Steve was trying to set up a dictatorship. He even tried to throw a fork at her. A kick in the groin put an end to that, but Jenn looked a little shaken when she came back down. "I don't even fucking like cashews," she growled, handing me the entrenching tool and disappearing into our bedroom.
Steve took the incident to mean that the RAs can't keep their own people under control. He mentioned to me starting some sort of governmental structure. Nothing too big or too complex, just something that'll "stream line" and make the day-to-day chores "a little more efficient" - his words. That doesn't sound bad. He even started outlining the way it'll work. A Resident Assembly where everyone gets one vote which would vote on proposals made by the Administrative Council. The Council would be made up of all the RAs who would elect a President. The President would have a small cabinet of people to enforce and carry out policies, like a Secretary for Defense, a Secretary for Electricity, and even one for Food and Water. I suppose Steve wants to be the President, and I don't suppose that's a bad thing... At least this way when people object, especially the other RAs, he has some legitimate backing. Maybe this is good...
About two hours ago the water stopped running. There's still water in the lines - you can hear it - but the pressure's out. My efforts to get the bathtubs filled, as well as the pots, pans, and tins has worked out pretty well. The biggest problem is going to be keeping the water clean. We'll have to start drinking the water in the bathtubs since that's most likely to go bad first, what with all the germs from people taking showers still in there. I'm having the cleanest ones get covered over with Saran Wrap so dust and generally all the shit in the air doesn't get into it. After that, it's going to be an issue of rationing the water and waste disposal. I'm not sure how we're going to enforce the former and deal with the latter, especially since we could potentially find ourselves with our water supply in the same room as loads and loads of urine and shit. We could always have people collect their waste in pots and then have toss them out the windows, but that might just attract more of those things. Besides, the smell is going to get unbearable, though not as unbearable as if we keep it in here with us... I'll have to talk to Steve or some of the others. Maybe someone else has already come up with an idea.
Electricity isn't as big an issue as I thought it would be. Power is still running, intermittently at times. We've had to go into walls and rewire a lot of the power to Steve's apartment. It's not for him, but for the community pantry. All the snack machines, all the soda machines, and the four refrigerators in there need a lot of fucking juice. I'm just worried we've compromised the integrity of the walls between safe and infected rooms. The last fucking thing we need is for a rotting hand to bash through the thin layer of drywall and pull itself through, or pull others to it. I had a nightmare like that last night. I was going around checking out the food supplies, talking to people, explaining the rationing again, when suddenly a hundred of those fuckers reached through the wall next to me, grabbing and tearing. And no one was doing a fucking thing! They just stood there like a bunch of sheep, staring, while little by little I got pulled through the wall.
Jenn says I screamed. I don't remember that. I remember being covered in sweat and hearing the basketball player in the next apartment pounding away. I don't know how the guy in the bedroom next to me - the bedroom that shares a wall with the infected apartment - deals with it. I'll see him sitting in there with headphones on, practicing his keyboard or just reading. He and Jenn seem to have an ability to shut it out. Maybe that comes from both being musicians... That doesn't make any sense. I mean, I played the cornet, though I suppose that was a long time ago. More importantly, though, wouldn't combat teach you to ignore shit like that? Hell, I can remember sleeping through a mortar attack on our firebase in Afghanistan. Well, I guess I don't remember it since I was asleep, but the other guys said I was out like a fucking light. Then there were the helicopters, the bombs, the rocket strikes, all that shit that made me blink awake, look around to make sure my body armor and weapon were next to me, and then go back to sleep. So why the fuck can't I make this fucker go away, just become part of the general murmur of a university dorm? Part of the A/C? Part of any fucking thing that isn't the fucking living dead trying to kill me?!
I practice Tai Chi and Taekwondo more these days, down in the common room or in that open space at the end of the hall. I've even got a few participants and even a few students. Some of them are just bored, others want to feel safe. What-the fuck-ever. I'm doing it for me, not for them. Teaching them just helps keep my mind on task. Besides, I don't know much, just a few forms. I downloaded a whole bunch more off YouTube so I can start on those, but I'll just wait until everyone has it down. Some people are asking to learn some of the sword-work, like the Tai Chi forms or Aikido. I don't know how I'm going to do that. I only have my bokuto and the shinai I borrowed from my sister. Maybe we could fashion some mock ones out of chair or table legs. I don't know what good it's going to do them against the fuckers outside or if I'm just training a bunch of people to fight my food-confiscation sweeps. Am I the CIA training the Taliban or Reagan arming Saddam Hussein? Fuck. Maybe I should just teach them the unarmed movements. Better to stick with Tai Chi, in fact - most people don't get how to use that in a fight - at least until I get a chance to talk to Steve and the other ex-military guys. The last thing I need is for Jenn to get hurt by someone I taught to fight.
Steve also mentioned confiscating all the alcohol. Some people are drinking themselves into stupors and inevitably one of them is going to do some damn fool thing like go downstairs and open a door. We've already done our best to confiscate the marijuana and the other illicit drugs we could find. Having a high motherfucker suddenly get in his mind that he can fight all the ghouls outside is the last thing we need. I'm not sure what he did with it, Steve, but I think he dropped it down the elevator shaft where no one can get to it. The alcohol, though... I like to drink and I can admit that I'm one of those people using it to help me fall asleep - not too much or else I'll get a sore ear from Jenn, but enough to make me care a little less. People used to ask me why I drank, if it was because I liked the way it felt. I used to joke that I drank because it didn't make me feel. I guess that holds more truth now than I'm willing to acknowledge. Giving it up isn't something I'm looking for to, not with so many nights or fucking Poundy next door. He did mention there would be a ration of it for each person, sort of like rum on one of those old rigged sailing ships. I can't help but think about the chocolate rations Winston mentions in 1984.
Fuck, I left my Orwell books at my parents. Fucking zombies are probably reading that shit now. Those damn fuckers. Those fucking damn fuckers! If they even put a scratch on those books, I'm going to fucking kill them!
I'm going to fucking kill them.
I'm going to fucking kill the undead?
I should probably get more sleep. I managed to hide one of those vodka minibottles in the back of my desk from those fuckers in the Food Committee. Maybe I'll have that...
If anyone's reading this. If anyone's alive. If anyone's out there at all, give us a sign.