Rayn and Joe convinced me that we should take a break from our aimless driving (so many detours from a route straight up north had sort of left us wandering), and find somewhere to stay for a few days. I think they did anyway. It was like having one reality as the base layer and then having a sheet of clear plastic on top of that with a few details changed or added. I couldn’t tell the difference very often, and my mind flicked between the two without me even realizing most of the time.
Days passed sluggishly, rolling into each other until they became just a blur of driving, spending a night somewhere and killing everything that moved. I was running depressingly low on drugs and knowing what was waiting for me at the end of them was making me a miserable person to be with. I’m pretty sure I was a miserable person to be with anyway, but you get my point.
I still didn’t understand why Joe didn’t just stay at the camp. That was fucking twisted if you ask me – if I was him, I’d have stayed with them. It’s not like he stuck around once we’d found somewhere to stay for the night. As soon as the place was secured, he’d fuck off somewhere for a couple of hours. I was kinda worried at first, but he always came back just fine. I s’pose I should’ve been more concerned about it but with addicts, it’s all about us.
Anyway. I was convinced, either way, and we found this hospital at the edge of a town. I braced myself – hospitals were bad enough, I didn’t want to set foot inside if I’m honest, but it was gonna be full of patients that were infected and died in there. I had this sinking feeling that it was going to be crammed full of the fuckers.
We stocked up on ammo from the box in the trunk. I was sure we weren’t using as much ammo as was going missing. Trying to shrug it off, I put a bunch of rounds in my bag and slung it over my shoulder, readying myself to face the inside of the place. Rayn put his hand on my shoulder and gave me that smile he gives me when he knows I’ll be okay. Filling up my lungs with a long breath, I nodded and moved forward, motioning for them to stay behind me and cover my back.
It wasn’t nearly as bad as I was expecting. I think the pit of dread that had settled in my stomach had come mostly from my new fear of hospitals and seeing so many infected patients in a confined space. There were still a lot wandering around, but I s’pose I was expecting it to be packed full. It was hard work. I was coming down from my last hit of dope and all I had left was a few grams of weed and enough dope left for one shot. By the time we were done, I was sweating out and achy.
We’d found a room in the basement with generators that had barely been used at all. There was at least enough gas left to run the place for a couple of days solidly. I found the breaker switches and isolated just one boiler so we could have a shower for the first time in fucking weeks. It’d been maybe a month since the outbreak had started, and I don’t think we’d showered in about two weeks. We stank. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d been able to properly brush my teeth either. Using a bottle of water and a toothbrush at the side of the road wasn’t quite the same somehow.