Natura Naturans, 1
I was amazed I lasted 17 days in the house without setting foot outside. I’d not opened the front or back doors, nor a window, or even my curtains. Man I was amazed. Before the incident I was a creature of severe habit, some said I required professional help, with my obsession of controlling every aspect of my life and maintaining a clockwork day by and week by week routine. Thursday night was shopping night. After many weeks of shopping different nights, measuring the busyness of the shops, the availability of parking and ideal time to get the reduced sticker items (my obsessive compulsiveness extended to tightness, but it’s the one thing that wasn’t part of my odd foibles, I am just a miser but never openly admitted it), I managed to deduce that Thursdays were the optimum time to visit my local Tesco. Of course, I had built in a 6 monthly cycle for my plan where I would retest the days and make sure the optimum day was still Thursdays. But now, after 17 days housebound I was short of supplies. I was still alive of course, but with no food at all. But I’d learned who needs bread and milk right? It’s amazing what you can cobble together from can and packets. The incident had been awful and was still a reality, but in someway it was forcing me to cure myself, and I hated it. I really should’ve hated it for what it was and what had happened, and yet still the overriding hate I had was that it had made me change my routine.
But now after 17 long and gruelling days of forcing myself to accept that I am beyond controlling the daily minutia of my life a turning point arrived. The food had all gone and worse still the water tank was empty, as is they back up cylinder that my landlord saw fit not to remove when he added a new heating system. That was an amazing argument I had with him. As I selfishly dreamed of a new cupboard to store my prized collection of Terry Pratchett novels, he decided to keep the cylinder in place adding that it ‘doesn’t hurt to have a back up should the boiler fail, you always need hot water the most when they inconveniently fuck up and no one wants to be washing in cold water in early January’ After my petulant protesting he concluded that it was his house and he’d do whatever he god damned wanted to with it. If it wasn’t for him I’d have been thirstier and desperate sooner. I think I may like him a little now, just a little, but not a lot.
I’ve not seen a soul in all of the last two and a half weeks. The phone, both at home and my mobile, stopped ringing about the same time the gas, water and internet went off, but oddly the power does come on sporadically from time to time from anywhere for ten minutes to several hours, it does make watching a movie a game of Russian roulette. And since I sold most of my DVDs at a car boot sale for next to nothing because I thought I’d never need them again as most of them were on Netflix, film four or channel five often enough for me to see them as often as I ever did, I’m now stuck with all of the Star Wars films, the Alien films and the Godfather trilogy. All great films but when you (try to) watch them endlessly back to back their status as iconic moment in cinema soon wears off. I’d not factored in this scenario at that car boot sale. I felt a little silly. But who thought it wouldn’t last? It never occurred to me once.
I wondered where everyone was, and how they were coping, or if they were alive at all. Those thoughts consumed me the most, everyday. Would I see anyone I cared about again? Would they survive long enough to come to my funeral, or me to theirs, or are we all inevitably doomed by the incident? Maybe we would all survive and at the last minute, as I was about to be taken by one of the incidents many offspring the army would roll into view and save my ass? Would I wake up from this nightmare and find it was just that?
One of those scenarios could well be the truth I just haven’t worked out which one yet.
Well it’s time to venture out, maybe just out into the back yard. It’s entirely closed and unlikely to have been penetrated yet. I’ll take my sturdy rucksack that has seen me through so many night fishing adventures and the dozen empty coke bottles that I rescued from the recycle bin in the garage. Old Marg next door I’m sure was away on holiday when the incident happened and I’m sure she wouldn’t mind me breaking in to borrow a cup of sugar, like any good neighbour.
The fence panels slide up. I can wedge them and slip underneath.
My snooker cue extension with the fishing knife gaffer taped to the end is coming along too. You can never be too careful can you?