People often say they don't remember what life used to be like.
It's a sentiment I can sympathize with, perhaps even understand, but not necessarily relate to. I wasn't born before the "change," or the "apocalypse," or whatever the inevitably older people call it when discussing the moment when their world went from ordered to chaotic. I can't count the years that this new world has existed. All I can count is the number of infected Joel and I have put down. A practice that has led from everything from vigilantism to suicidal actions in some people, but so far, it's kept me sane. In this kind of world, evading death is the only time that many of us feel alive.
Doesn't help the hunger though. At best, I'll die of starvation at this rate. At worst, my rumbling tummy will lead to be being the lunch of...something else.
I'm sitting in the bedroom of a house on the outskirts of town, waiting for Joel to come back with food and, if we're lucky, more ammunition. The room is relatively clean bar the dust, and the books have made for a good read. They're not things we can carry around, but nice to indulge in all the same. TV is a bust though. I'll admit to having fiddled around with it out of curiosity, even knowing that nothing airs on it anymore, and probably never will again. I've heard people discussing old TV shows at times, but like many aspects of their old lives, the references mean nothing to me.
I wonder if the infected feel hungry? How much of their actions are dictated by the (insert pathogen of theory here) as opposed to the hunger that's near constant for the last of us? Wonder if we tried eating them, we'd be infected to? Would that count as cannibalism? It was frowned upon in the old days, but now...well, things are different. Supposedly.
For instance, for those who lived in this house before, hearing the door open might have been a sign of a family member coming home from work to find the start of a three course dinner on the table. Not a sign for me to sit up off the bed, cast a book to one side while picking up a revolver in the other. And even as my 'family' (Joel) walks in, dinner in the old days would have consisted of more than canned food that smells almost as bad as the infected.
"Hungry?" Joel asks.
"Used to be..." I murmur. A lie, really, but I won't deny that the smell is hard to get used to, even now.
"Cat-food this time, I'm afraid," Joel continues, picking out a pair of tins from his backpack and handing me one with a black feline on it. "Still, better than the dog-food from last week, eh?"
Trying to breathe through my mouth, I still silently concede the point. Cats and dogs...pets in the old days, now feral animals that make for good eating if you're into that sort of thing. Survival of the fittest and all that.
Tucking into the grub, I wonder how long I'll be able to keep this up.
Even now, I'm still hungry.