Journal Entry #9
March 26, 2011
The neighborhood meeting we called together earlier tonight may as well be called a disaster. Too much time was given to idle speculation and too little for taking action. Soccer moms that cowered in their living rooms weeping while people died in unimaginable ways were suddenly sparked into a charismatic zeal, telling everyone else “how it is going to be” as if by some divine mandate. Little was accomplished and valuable time was lost. The five of us that were there at the gate remained quiet most of the time. Maybe they were still wrapping their heads around what had happened earlier like I was.
We constantly checked the windows for movement outside. I had forgotten how dark it gets when there are no street lights. Some of the other men that were there with us policing up bodies, but who ran off at the first gun blast, couldn’t take their eyes off the floor. Some of them didn’t have weapons, and I can’t very well blame them for their choice. In fact I blame none of them entirely, if I am a bit annoyed. All of us equally lacked any understanding of what was going on.
The difference was that I and the others that stayed swallowed hard the lump in our throat and woke up to the understanding that if we didn’t do something, no one would. I was not about to watch you, or your mother, or any one else meet the fate that we saw so many others fall victim to. I don’t want their envy or admiration. I didn’t do any of the things I did for them. The only reason I quietly tolerate their boisterous ignorance is that I know that alone, we have no chance.
When one of the men, Howard, who had abandoned us at the gate (leaving his handgun behind in the process) rose up like he was some anointed ruler and began waxing on through some idiotic and redundant diatribe of the way things were going to be I had had enough. I broke from my patient displeasure and told him his previous title of “Home Owners Association President” now had even less bearing. He took immediate offense to it and made some effusive attempt to regain his position, but I was not long in reminding him, and everyone that did not witness, his previous act of spineless self-preservation, asked them all if this was the type of man they wished to depend upon. He took his seat, a quiet eunuch.
I told them that I was not there to hold their hands or calm their fears. I told them what I had witnessed at the check point some days before and that if they wanted to wait for help, like Howard had previously suggested, they were welcome to, but I wanted nothing to do with that kind of help. They silently agreed.
I sketched out a basic map of our community so as to collaborate on its strengths and weaknesses. If we are going to stay here, we are going to need a defensible position in case more of those…things…or worse, come back. Most of the people agreed. We aren’t many, perhaps some fifty or so, with quite significant portion less that are armed. This is our reality alone. I took a photo of the initial drawing and saved it on a scan disk. I hope I can record as much as possible.
Tomorrow morning we will separate into the teams we discussed earlier tonight and set about to our tasks of fortifying our position, collecting supplies from abandoned homes and other general errands.