Saying goodbye

I will post this now, so that you do not have time to all ask me where I have been, what I have been doing, why I would not answer you.

A little after I last used this blog, the Party faction print a notice and put it all over the campus. They say the servers in the library have blown, that the Quarantine Movement volunteers did not take care of them. This is bullshit – I saw party members leave the library that night. They do this to destroy the forum, to take away our means to organise without them. I start to create another forum, on another server, and to make a poster with the URL. When I get back to my room, my workset and papers are gone, my paintings destroyed, my paints are thrown over the room, the walls. I take some clothes and supplies in my bag and leave the dorm building, and on my way out I find many posters that I have just put up are torn in pieces on the ground. Then I hear a shout, and a big group is running towards me. I recognise the Party woman from the meeting, who would not let me speak, and some others, but some I am sure are not from the campus. They have student clothes, but they wear army boots. I run, and there is a gunshot behind me, and I run again, and when I leave the campus they stop chasing me, just shout insults behind me.

When I am far away I check my handset. I do not know who left the warning on my blog, but I did not dare to use it again. I SkIMped only with those I could trust on the campus. I tried to help run the forum from outside, we even tried to take another building secretly, but there are not enough of us to hold it.

Then I see Jack’s post about me, and I remember how much I once cared for him, and realise how little I now care, and I shock myself. I am hard inside and out, now. I have given to others all I have to give. I decide I will leave the latest occupation, and go home, to my mother. I know it will take me a long time. Some vehicles still go between communities, but it is dangerous to give or accept a ride. Every time we think the flu is ended, there is another outbreak somewhere, because one person with anti-virals is still travelling. I steal a bicycle and I raid some food. I hide in empty buildings and try not to be seen. Sometimes I climb onto the back of a truck that goes south and hope I will not be discovered. Three days ago I reached home. I am in a quarantine hostel in the old prison, isolated from others. It is very comfortable, and with more food than I have since the first quarantine. My mother visits, and we talk through a glass window with a telephone. It is so strange, like a screen and a speaker, it could be the same as SkIMp, but the picture is so clear! We cry a lot and speak of everybody that is gone, and then we just sit to be quiet together on either side of the glass. We read, or I paint a picture of her knitting a scarf for me. Then it is not like SkIMp, it is like being together again.

There is much to do. There is no army now. Most died from the flu after there were no more anti-virals, the survivors joined or took over communities. The death is worst in the cities, but the flu also reached many rural areas, especially those near to cities where the army took supplies. All this news is from the forums and blogs – there is no word from government or official Newsnets for many weeks. Some places are controlled by a local party official, others are self-organising, as we were at first. Some farming communities begin to get food to the cities again – neighbourhoods organise trucks to bring in and distribute the food.

I hear news from the campus, because students who wanted me to be a leader still contact me. When the Party take full control they begin lectures again, with a faculty of surviving lecturers and graduate students, all loyal to them, of course. I cannot return there, but others organise against them. I have other things to do. I read medical websites and textbooks, and when my quarantine is over I will begin training at the hospital. Too many doctors have died. It is the best thing I can do.

I want to tell you, also, do not expect to hear more from me soon, and do not worry for me when I do not post to my blog. I think it is wrong for me to keep a blog at this time. It is a distraction, yes, but more than that – it is a way to deceive, and it is dangerous. It is not only Jack that makes me see this. I read again what I wrote of the first quarantine, and it is not a lie, we felt this way and we did these things, but if you read only my blog you might think we had the perfect organisation, real harmony, and it was not like this. The hidden political decisions, the splitting of the party and the quarantine movement – it was in the seed of the quarantine from the beginning, and we might have seen it if we did not paint the better picture for ourselves. We wanted so much to believe in our unity, I wanted to believe in it, and when we showed our quarantine to the world we made it as we wanted it to be, and hoped that this would make it true. We believed in what we created and did not look closely at what we did not want to see. This can happen without a blog or a forum, it happens to every revolution since the beginning of history, but we never learn because, like Jack, we make the comforting story for ourselves and we do not face the reality. I cannot say what that reality is – I am still looking inside and presenting a picture about myself, who is and is not the young woman you once knew, who I feel I must pretend to be on this blog although I no longer know her. On our blogs we lie about ourselves and about the world, to ourselves and to the world. I want to know myself as I am, and to see the world as it is; it is too dangerous for me to create it here. I want to say I love all of you and hope you can rebuild your worlds new, but in truth I do not think you are the same people I knew, and I have no space in my heart to think of your worlds. To say I love you is like trying to make a picture with the dry paint on a palette, a thin film of sentiment left after the real emotion is evaporated, it is not enough. It is the remains of something real, but it is not real. You see, how we make ourselves lie to ourselves and each other, because it is what the blog needs.

This is why I must say goodbye.

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