An entire bottle of vodka and no hangover. I didn’t even really expect to wake up. A part of me didn’t want to, a pretty big part. I don’t drink a lot and a couple shots usually gets me quite tipsy. By the time I finished writing last night, I had finished off about a quarter of the bottle and an entire joint. I was feeling it, but not nearly as strongly as I would have expected, so I chugged the rest of the bottle. It hit me fast, and I remember thinking, drinking that much alcohol that quickly could kill me; should kill me, and I didn’t care.
Most of the world is dead. I seem to be alone; except for Mrs. Olmstead, who appears to have massive brain damage. I survived the pandemic and a lethal quantity of vodka and I feel fine; just super hungry. I work for Amazon for God’s sake! I’m not a fucking Navy Seal. I’m not cut out for surviving on my own. How the hell am I supposed to do this? I ride a bicycle to work every day and sit in a cubicle in front of a computer. The closest I’ve ever come to combat is playing Call of Duty; and I’m not that good at it.
This is stupid, I need to eat.
Okay, so after I eat several cans of cold soup I’m feeling better, emotionally. I’m going to have to find a grill. I don’t have one, but I have neighbors that do. It was time for me to head down to the super’s apartment and find his master key. Because I’m a moron, the first thing I do is go to the elevator and hit the button, even though I know there is no power. Once I finish mentally slapping myself, I head for the stairs. I pulled the door open on a pitch-dark stairwell and momentarily lose my nerve. I also realize that, once again, I don’t have a flashlight.
I am so not cut out for this. I ran back for my flashlight and tried again. The trip down the stairwell was unnerving. My flashlight cast crazy shadows, my footsteps echoed all around me, and my mind played tricks on me all the way down. By the time I reached the ground floor I was soaked in sweat and hoping I could figure out how to get the elevators going again.
I got lucky when I tried the super’s door and found it unlocked. The smell inside the apartment was significantly worse than in Mrs. Olmstead’s. I was pretty certain I wouldn’t find anyone lurking inside and was grateful when I spotted several sets of keys hanging next to the door. I’m not sure I would have been able to keep my lunch down if I had to go any deeper into that apartment, so I grabbed all the keys and got out.
Before going back upstairs, I wanted to make sure all the doors into the building were locked and went to the lobby. The lobby of my building is two stories high and the exterior wall is mostly glass. If anyone really wanted to get in, it wouldn’t be too difficult, but I figured I shouldn’t make it simple. Of course, none of the keys were labeled, so it took some time to find the right one. As I flipped through the keys, I was constantly glancing out the doors. There were plenty of cars lining the street, but none driving by and I’ve never seen it completely absent of people. Even late at night, there’s always some movement out there.
After finally finding the proper key, I would have to label it myself later, I pressed my face to the glass to look down the street towards the intersection. Parked in the middle of the intersection, underneath the no longer working traffic light, was a police car. I couldn’t see if there was anyone in it from my angle, and because of the cars lining the street, but it was there. I don’t own a gun, have never in my life even fired one, but with thoughts of a crazy Mrs. Olmstead running through my head, I knew I was probably going to need one. I stared at that police car for a while, but I couldn’t work up the nerve to go outside and check it. I wanted to, but I couldn’t do it, not yet.
I am ashamed of myself, but I have never known this much fear in my life. I’ve seen movies, and have read a couple books, and played a few video games about end-of-civilization scenarios, but the reality of it is more soul-crushingly scary that I ever could have imagined. It’s easy to say what you would do if you ever encountered the situation when you’re surrounded by friends, and food, and electricity, but when it actually happens, you just want to curl up into a ball and hide. At least I do, and I’m the one it’s happening to.
I managed to get the rest of the doors on the ground floor locked and survived the trip back up the stairs. That’s as much stress as I can handle today. Maybe tomorrow I’ll try for the police car.