He’s here! Sounds like he had a pretty rough trip down, but I’ll let him tell you about it in his own words soon.It’s so good to have someone to talk with in person. I really can’t express it!

img_3203All in all I spent eight hours sitting in the truck waiting for him, and it was such a relief when he finally showed up. We drove back to my apartment, and he was pretty amazed at how different it is down here in rural Japan. He seems to be pretty on edge, and the first thing he said when he saw my apartment is that we need to do something to block up the stairway to the apartment and also reinforce the door. I’d vaguely thought about doing some of that myself, but I hadn’t felt the urgency.

I’d saved a few beers, but it was nothing compared to what Alex brought down with him. He had drinks for drinking, but he has also very clearly separated out the spirits that were to be used for Molotov cocktails, should the need arise. It’s hard to know if he’s overly vigilant or if I’ve just been way to relaxed in my approach to the situation.

Even before we went up the stairs he noticed some gas bottles outside someone’s house, and insisted we put one in his car, and one in the back of my truck. I don’t know, I wonder if it’s the time he spent in the US Army or if  he’s just Gaswatched too many zombie movies. It all seems a little extreme me… When I asked him what the gas was for, he just said “It’s valuable. We might need it for heat, cooking, potentially trading with other survivors or if push comes to shove, we might need to make a bomb.” I didn’t argue with him and instead helped carry the gas bottles to the vehicles once he had cut the chains with some bolt cutters that he’d brought with him. He was amazed at how calm the area was, but I think that made him nervous. After spending all of that time up in Osaka, not knowing what was happening and also being constantly on the look out for anyone trying to do you harm must have been taxing. He was surprised that I’d had water as long as I did, and thankful that I actually had access to the river, which is clean enough for washing. It’s been a while since he was able to wash, so he’s looking forward to getting out tomorrow.

This afternoon we’ve just been cracking into a few beers and it feels weirdly normal. We had some of the fish I’d caught and been keeping in the freezer. Alex has mostly been surviving on bar snacks and instant food, so he was pretty happy to have something real home cooking. I really feel like this might be a turning point and that things are looking up in a way that haven’t done for a good while now.





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