There was a time when I felt like San Francisco wasn't a big enough city. I'm from Houston, I've lived in New York, and Chicago. San Francisco is the smallest city I've lived in. When I first moved here I found it strange to bump into people I knew at the farmer's market. I was shocked to be able to arrive late to the pride parade and still be able to view it from the front lines. I longed to move to a bigger city, to get lost in crowds. But now, now I don't know if a big city would be better or worse. Would there be more normal people or would there be more opportunities to be preyed upon? In the future, perhaps, I should look up the statistics for drug use in a given city. Then I'll know where to move. Unfortunately these days, small towns are not immune, being highly saturated with meth labs, they are the most infected. At least, that's what I assume, its hard to know for sure now that there's a media blackout in effect.
It's odd to be typing this out on the internet. Do people even read diary blogs anymore? Does it matter? I never thought the novel I had in me would just be another mundane daily blog (with zombies!). I'll be writing this for the next 30 days. Just telling you all about my life, with zombies. Its kind of the only thing left to do. There aren't many people that eat anymore, so I don't think i'll have my job much longer. While I don't mind having less hours of making schedules and breaking up fights between cooks, I thought finally taking time off work to write would be about following my dreams, finally asking the universe for unicorns and rainbows and getting them. I didn't think it'd be done out of restlessness and desperation and certainly not on livejournal. But someone has to document this, right? It might be history. It might not. In the end, does it really matter? I don't believe the world will end, but it does seem like it will be greatly changed.
Its also quiet in that my friends list is much smaller. The people I met in early twenties in my hometown, we clubbed together. We started our own spooky music night. Young, creative, dark... the perfect formula for drug use. The people I worked with in my late twenties. Foodies, cooks who idolized the rock star chef image, alcoholics... another formula for drug use. I'm left with the little bit of immediate family I've had for years. A random friend here or there like me, another introvert.
The movies and popular fiction would have you believe it all starts with a cold. It progresses with looters. By the time the gun shots start its too late. Guns, shovels, and knives don't even stop people in a sane world, but we expect them to save us from an apocalypse. Its funny how systems work. So many small glitches in them that you don't even notice, but when you look back at history you wonder how no one could have noticed the dye in the plates was poisoning people, the drinking water being used as a sewer infected them, and more recently, the prison systems spread poisons further and wider than any municipal water supply ever could. It doesn't have to start with cough, it can start with an itch, a craving, a fix, a desire. That's all that it takes. What use is a gunshot to the head when the supply of poison never runs out?( Collapse )
Walking the sidewalks of the neighborhood affectionately called "the tendernob", you get used to tuning things out. I remember my first morning after I moved to the city; I decided to walk down Jones street and see what was there. There was a man on the curb, sort of inching away like a worm, writhing, eyes clenched, just barely moving. Somehow he reminded me of the caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland, and no wonder, next I noticed the familiar brown and white glass, the crack pipe. It was shocking and I'm not new to big cities. I felt like I'd crossed some time traveling threshold into the early nineties, because, honestly, no one's even talked much about crack, much less smoked it publicly on a street in broad daylight since then. Or maybe I just think that because that's the last time period that drugs affected my family. Sights like these, triggering forgotten memories, while shocking at first, tend to become quite commonplace and easy to tune out.( Collapse )
I have to write about my characters for an assignment. I went to look at my old draft from 2013. There is a sort of post quarantine diary in there. Its weird and oddly fitting. Also, I felt some kind of way about SF. I'm thinking about posting that fake zombie blog here day by day. Just for fun. And to set it somewhere outside of the draft. I did this free form writing where I ended up going back and forth between narrating with blog posts or just doing a 2nd person story. I don't think I ever worked out which to do. But there's less journal. So. Yeah. Maybe I start posting zombie diaries.
It's payday. My employer has attached a letter to paychecks (and emailed for those of us with direct deposit) stating they can not afford to pay everyone's PTO. They are instead paying 80% of furloughed employees wages "if possible".
The collections manager messaged me while we were apocalypse shopping. All volunteer shifts canceled. When I went to work Friday everything was normal except it was slower than usual. People were complaining that the managers didn't send a sick runner home. Customers were buying more rice and pasta than usual. By the time Sunday rolled around I started to question why we were still doing Bloody Mary carts. I threw away all accoutrements brought back to me from the cart. One of the bartenders came to show me that Mayor Garcetti announced he was closing restaurants. We were in Beverly Hills, not LA, nothing changed. I took some toilet paper on my way out. Scott and I went on a fruitless search for toilet paper on our way home. I told him how that morning I'd taken the 720 for the first time. I'd been avoiding it because its always crowded, but since the buses has been empty and clean I risked it. This was not prudent. It was packed to the gills. I was trapped in front of a homeless man that kept coughing. When I got to work I sprayed myself head to toe with Lysol.( Collapse )
Los Angeles county or maybe The City of Beverly Hills, I'm not sure which, has forced partial closure of my workplace. I am still scheduled two days this week. The Natural History Museum is closed, so my Monday shift is canceled. My school is closed for two weeks, even online classes, though one of my teachers is still posting assignments. I shopped for two weeks of food that two sick people would want to have on hand last Thursday. This meant Scott and I went to the 99 cent store and grabbed 4 cans of any soups that sounded good. We wanted to really stock up on chili, but the good Artisan canned chili was wiped out. I was surprised because that usually sticks around awhile. I didn't think people knew about it. So we got a random assortment of ok chilis. I grabbed 2 cans of fruits I liked and an assortmetn of dried fruit to put in oatmeal. We also got convenience foods like Vienna sausages, canned chicken, canned tuna, and canned salsa. No more than 4 cans of anything and sometimes only 2 cans of some things. I also told Scott to pick out whatever chips he wanted. I grabbed the stacked spicy and tortilla chips. All of the macaroni was out of date. Scott grabbed about a week's work of the cheapo soy sauce flavored top ramen. I grabbed a couple ramen bowls, like 2 shin bowls. We put couple kinds of instant mashed potatoes and instant noodle dishes (like broccoli cheese noodles, not ramen). Produce goes bad and we had a ton of lemons and oranges a neighbor let us pick off her tree already. I figured I could still order fresh produce if I really need. I grabbed frozen mushrooms, spinach, and some healthy looking steamer entrees. Pizza crusts and shredded mozzarella, tomato sauce. Rice and Beans were completely wiped out as was toilet paper and water. We grabbed some of our favorite sparkling water flavors. We'd at least have something to drink if an earthquake comes. Overall I felt like we had a pretty good variety of foods, plus enough easy stuff if we both got sick and cooking was off the table. We went to a pharmacy and got cough and cold medicine. The last time I got the flu, one bottle of cough medicine ran out 3 days in and I was following the instructions every four hours. So two bottles seemed reasonable. Only fancy euro waters were available. Some were bogo, so I figured I'd grab a couple for earthquake supply. No toilet paper, I grabbed a 6 pack of puff's with lotion as we were down to 3 rolls of toilet paper. This was all before the lay offs. I was worried I'd been excessive and thought I just might not go grocery shopping for a month. On Sunday, the rick people started bulk buying things in the store. The managers told me to get ready to assemble delivery orders next week. People's 2nd restaurant jobs sent them text messages laying them off. I smuggled 3 rolls of toilet paper from the bathroom in case I couldn't get any this week. Now, I'm glad I already shopped. After I got an update from work about every hour on Monday, I scheduled deliveries of a produce box and meal kit boxes for the next couple of weeks. I've been determined to use every bit of the fresh produce I have on hand, even cooking lettuce. Although I've had no obligations for the past 3 days, I'm still procrastinating my homework. Look I even wrote this instead of my two archaeology essays.
A Quiet Place reminded me of a recurring nightmare I had when i lived in San Francisco. My studio apartment there was first time I actually lived in an apartment on my own, without anyone I knew in the city. I watch
ed a lot of zombie movies and The Walking Dead was probably starting its second season, this was back when it was still tense and seemed fascinating and original. I shared a fire escape with the apartment next to mine; i had huge bay windows with beat up blinds and no curtains. I lived on the fifth floor and would often leave the blinds up, letting the sun shine in the apartment. I never had such a gorgeous view or such light in my apartment when i lived in New York and I was soaking up all that glorious vitamin D. I felt relatively safe on the top floor. My neighbor would bring a lot of men home. Sometimes I could hear them yelling from the street, "maggie! maggie? are you there?!". They would occasionally hang out on her side of the fire escape smoking cigarettes. One time late at night i woke up to men talking loudly right outside my window, seemingly unaware anyone was in the apartment. This spooked me and I jumped up and closed the blinds, which in turn, spooked them and sent them dashing back into her window. It didn't happen again. But that lingering feeling of someone getting in through the shared fire escape was always in the background of my mind at night. Add to this my very nervous dog. She would pace relentlessly at night. It was a constant tap tap tap of doggy nails on a wood floor in an apartment with high ceilings bereft of furniture. I only had a twin bed, a computer desk, and a tiny ikea coffee table my neighbors were throwing out that i used as an elevated dog bed.. tap tap tap. then she'd jump on the dining table, which i'd placed by the window so she could look out. It was so light it'd teeter a little. tap tap tap, thunk, wobble wobble, thunk. Then she'd jump down with a thud and tap tap tap again. It could get very annoying. All of this set the stage for this nightmare. Oh right and i was working on a novel about a zombie apocalypse. Its called Test Kitchen and is coming out somewhere just short of never.
Spoilers, I guess? Star Wars related. Not that i don't think they are a little hokey, but i'm surprised by some of the things people find disappointing. Here are some things i don't think need to be spelled out for me to understand:( Collapse )