I just finished typing up Jewel's journal entry. I couldn't believe it when he handed me that notebook with twelve neatly printed pages. He was worried that his handwriting would be illegible. But it was readable all the way to the end. It did get a little sloppy the last couple of pages, but I think the arthritis in his hands was getting the better of him. As reluctant as he was I was expecting a couple of pages at most.
A lot has changed since mid-September. There are seven of us now. Eight if you count Emily, which Dee insists on. We picked up a couple of people in Lebanon Missouri. There has been some friction already though.
Billy Parsons is about the dumbest redneck I've ever met. Before the disappearance he was, let me see how he put it, a Water Pollution Control Officer. In other words he's a sewer worker. He's driving an antique Divco van full of guns, ammunition and explosives. Says blowing stuff up helps him unwind. That and chain smoking Camels. He and Jewels do NOT get along. There were sniping at each other twenty minutes after they met. Might have something to do with the Confederate flag Billy has painted on his van. I don't know if Billy is a racist or it's all just part of his redneck image, but I hope this does not get too serious. As few as we are I would hate to have to kick someone out of our little troop.
Beverly Bledsoe is a 27 year old accountant. Katherine, being the fine diplomat she is asked her quite bluntly what she could contribute to the party. Beverly responded that she's an accountant, she doesn't have any real world skills. So of course they don't get along either. Despite her claims that she's as useful as tits on a boar she's smart. She reads a lot and claims that she doesn't forget anything she's read. Ever. To prove this she quoted verbatim a couple of Barack Obama's speeches she had read back in high school. This didn't earn her a lot of points with Billy though.
But for some reason they all look to me to be the fearless leader. I don't know whether this means they all look up to me or no one else is foolish enough to want to take responsibility. I don't know what the hell makes them think I want it or am qualified for it. If they could have seen the way I was running my own life around late April, they would probably change their minds. I just pray that I don't fuck up.
We have quite a convoy now. Katherine found a mobile clinic and has moved into that. I still have the Uni, Jewels has his truck and, Micheal has his and Billy brings up the rear in his Divco suicide special. If he drops a butt into the back of that van and blows himself to hell, I would rather not be driving into the fireball. Beverly eagerly accepted my offer to ride in the Uni.
The general consensus is that we're going to head south before Winter. Already starting to get cold at night. Down south food and game should be more plentiful and we'll need less fuel to keep warm. Beyond that, we have no plans. I will probably set up another radio broadcast and try to contact more people. Maybe actually get the beginnings of a community going again. At least that's my goal. Maybe get enough people together and I can hand off leadership and all the headaches it causes to someone else.
Speaking of headaches, Katherine is insisting that I take the time off to let her look at my eyes tomorrow. Figure I will if it will just get her to shut up about it.
© 2009 R. Keith McBride