A 192-minute film, whose plot is simply “An old woman experiences pain and yearning”

Have you ever been at a funeral and felt like you weren’t sad enough?  And then you started to wonder if there was something wrong with you for not being sad enough?  Uncle Denny dies and that results in you wondering if you’re a sociopath.  Life is odd.

I was sad at my grandma’s funeral but I wasn’t crushed you know?  As close as I was to my grandma you’d think I should have been crushed at her funeral right?  There’s an explanation if you want there to be one.  She had been sick for a long time.  She knew it was coming and she was ready to go.  She prepared for her death like an Egyptian pharaoh.  Pharaohess?  Her affairs were in order and when it was time in was time. 

So if you want an explanation maybe that’s why I wasn’t sobbing uncontrollably at her funeral and tearing at my clothes and hair.  Or maybe I have a personality disorder exhibited by the tendency to lie, break laws, act impulsively, and lack regard for my own safety or the safety of others.   

Or maybe I wasn’t sobbing was because I was preoccupied.  I feel like a million people had asked me how my grandma died.  I don’t know why people do that.  What difference does it make how she died?  If I say she died one way over another would they be like “oh, well if she died that way I’m not sorry then”.  Sidenote, if you’re the one whose grandma died don’t bring it up if you’re going to be persnickety about someone expressing rote sympathy.  If you don’t give a shit about your grandma dying then don’t mention it buddy.   

Anyway, I was preoccupied because at some point in that million of asks I had the thought that some people’s grandmas were murdered by serial killers.  Most people you ask them how their grandma died and they say cancer, heart diseases, pneumonia, something like that.  But some people, some very few people, have to answer that question “Uh, she was shot by the Son of Sam” or “The Truckee River killer cut her head off”.  And that’s just serial killers, if you including normal boring old murder the number is even higher.   

Still, the population of people whose grandma has been murdered is probably lower than the population of people who have won the lottery but they’re out there.  Well, not anymore, the apocalypse having happened and all, but you know what I’m saying.  For some reason during my grandma’s funeral that’s what I was thinking about.  I couldn’t get it out of my mind.  Can you imagine someone saying to you “that’s too bad, how did she die?” and knowing that the answer was that she was shot five times by the Zodiac Killer?  I became fixated on that.  Who knows why.

What does this have to do with anything?  I’m going to get to that, lay off me will you?  You should know by now this is my writing style. [Martialla’s note – you know no one is ever going to read this beside me] Shut up Martialla, quit stealing my journal!  You’re just jealous because your grandma looked like Geddy Lee. [Martialla’s note – can confirm in regards to my grandma’s appearance, that didn’t mean she wasn’t a good person]  

My point is that while the people whose grandma has been murdered are a rare anomaly they are out there.  Unlikely things do happen, otherwise we wouldn’t call them unlikely things, we’d call them impossible things.  It’s unlikely that I would run into a guy that looks like Stewart Benjamin a hundred years later, but it’s not impossible.  Because it did happen. [Martialla’s note – that’s a terrible segue, this entire story was utterly pointless] It’s called setting the scene, read a book you philistine! [Martialla’s note – No it isn’t, also I read way more books than you] Shut up Martialla everyone knows about your tilted uterus!  If you’re so smart how would you write it up?! 

Martialla Apocalypse Journal Day 163 – Today we encountered a riverboat trader and establishing peaceful relations with the crew.  They are closer in appearance to people from our time and their pattern of speech is closer to ours, interspersed with French and Russian.  It seems safe to hypothesize that the source of the physical differences in people we observed to date have an environmental origin on the west coast.  The linguistic drift is likely due to isolation as the captain of the riverboat told us that they have almost no contact with anyone across the plains.  

The boat crew was unfamiliar with the Invincible but the captain did say that very recently one of their westernmost outposts was attacked by parties unknown.  If what he’s said about the river-trade is true it there is more infrastructure and organization in this area which leads me to believe that either he’s lying about knowing of the Invincible or there are associations with the Duke’s men that he is not aware of, as this seems like the most likely source of the Invincible munitions and equipment.  The captain advised that if we head south we will encounter a town where we can gather further information.   

If the journal wasn’t such a precious artifact I would have hurled it at Martialla’s overly large head when I read what she wrote “This is horrible!  Not only is it boring but you left out the two most important things!  That the guy looked exactly like Stewart Benjamin!”

Martialla barely bothered to shrug, probably because she was mentally exhausted from writing two paragraphs and couldn’t “There was a resemblance but he didn’t look that much like Stewart Benjamin.” 

I would have pounded her with my fists if she wouldn’t have mauled me like a bear for doing so “He did so!  And you left out the part where he thought that I was the Empress of this land because he said that I look exactly like her only younger and prettier!  Who happens to have the same name as I do!” 

She nodded “That is interesting, but until we figure out what’s going on there’s no reason to put that in my notes.  You’re right about one thing though, I did leave out the most important part.” 

I patted my new flask “That the boat people have a fermented drink of rice, honey, and thornapple and were eager to trade it for beads and other useless crap like the fools they are?” 

She raised a ceramic cup back to me “Bingo.” 

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