With another beer in my hand, this time a fresh glass bottle, I strolled along the sidewalk past the many boutiques. Maybe later, when or if I figure out what’s going on I’ll have time to go in. I stop dead in front of the hardware store. Taking a gulp from the beer I enter, and begin surveying the store. Nails of all sizes, shovels, picks, hammers, hoses, grills, cables, and tons of other things that I couldn’t identify are lining the walls. It seems too early to begin stockpiling; who knows what is going on? Whatever it was, it could have been a false alarm. Christ, I’m too nonchalant. I should be more terrified.
The truth of the situation is that I’m appallingly bad at fixing electronics. That’s not my path to salvation. Without the chance of contacting someone myself I have to rely on satellites, planes, or I have to go find people. If it’s a nuclear explosion I’m a goner already. If it’s a disease, I either already have it, can’t avoid it, or I am isolated from it. I can’t think of what I need to prepare. Everything is readily supplied for me, except a car. I can’t go anywhere without a car. Perhaps I’ll just keep walking.
Before I exit the store I notice cans of spray paint on sale for $4.99. Sounds fair. Some of them are glow-in-the-dark, too. I begin stuffing the cans into my backpack until it is bursting and I am carrying extra cans under each arm. I try to get Cleaver to carry one but he only lets it drop to the ground.
On the front window of the hardware store I begin to spray in big navy letters:
WHERE IS EVERYONE?
MY NAME IS REBECCA SAWYER
I LIVE AT 375 ROOSEVELT LANE
Cleaver and I continue walking, moving away from home and away from Main Street.