The Dust Journals – Part II

Sunday, February 13, 2157

I’m still here in my palace. This really is a nice place. At one point, some well-to-do lot probably owned it. At least until the rationing started. They probably had money to go to the north.

You see, they charge for the wet in Grade A and B zones. So only the rich can live there. They say there is a quota for living in those areas, and there is, but the right amount of green will get you far. Great-granddad said that a lot. The right amount of green.

C zones don’t have to pay for tap service, but then, they only get it once a week. As I say, the well-to-do can’t tolerate that.

No one cares really what happens in Grade C zones. No one patrols, so the riffraff tend to move into the vacated mansions and palaces. When I found this place, another guy was living here, but he told me I could stay with him. The place is big enough, he said, that we won’t see each other half the time if we don’t want to. And we didn’t. It wasn’t the columns and marble or the tricked out kitchen that got me. It was the library. Whoever deserted this place left behind literally thousands of books. I was in heaven.

I got into books late in life. I like how they take you to different places without having to leave the room. They can also take you places you can’t get to, like the past. The past fascinates me.

One day, the guy that lived here first just up and left. Didn’t leave a note or anything. He just vanished. I still wonder about him sometimes.

A lot of us lived here in the Parched Arroyo. Larry and Sue. The Parkers, Stacey and Tracey. The Hendersons. Lots of folks. But after the Grade D notes went up, they all left. It’s only me now left on the block. I’m the only one left.

I’m still watching Mad Max. I’ve been conserving my H2O so as to prolong when I have to make the trip. I still try the tap, like an idiot. I even had the nerve to cry a little when it wouldn’t work. What a waste of liquid.

The H2O at Pt. Richmond will be desalinated bay stuff. That shit tastes disgusting. They say it’s perfectly fine, but most folks call it toilet water for a reason. After all, the bay is the toilet for everything living in it.

(Heh. Living in it. I wonder if anything still lives in it. But that’s another story.)

I even got so desperate yesterday that I fired up the old AC unit. When I was young, folks would run their ACs as a way to get H2O. They collected the condensation that would drip off the unit or the pipes. That trick worked well for a while, but not anymore. You can’t get the gas needed to work an AC anymore, not for a long time.

Anyway, more stalling. Great-granddad always said do what you have to, unless you can get someone to do it for you. Well, there’s no one left here.

© 2014, gar. All rights reserved.


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