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I never thought I’d be longing so much for tea.

Last year, tea was a thing I would drink. Boil the kettle, add the leaves, wait and pour. Drink while at my desk, drink with dinner, drink with guests.

Now I keep the few leaves I have hidden inside a secured box under six different rocks. Too many times I’ve had a raiding party get close to finding it; that’s why I added the sixth rock.

If I’d known the stuff would be highly valued, I would have bought as many boxes as I could and stockpiled them in a concrete bunker. A bunker would be handy for many of my other current problems, too.

It’s difficult to exaggerate just how much value seems to have been placed on tea leaves. Far from the gold and ammunition that many people had expected, dried bits of plant are all most people want. Whenever I’m in a tough spot, adding tea to a deal always seems to sweeten things up, rather ironically.

I unfortunately lost all the tea I had soon after this whole drama began. Even though the kitchen had been largely unaffected by the bombs, at the time I hadn’t considered it important enough to rescue from the fire.

Wow, was I mistaken.

Fortunately, pretty much everyone else was too. So, I’m not so much a loser in this situation, just yet another potential winner who, in hindsight, ended up making the same wrong choice. Doesn’t make it feel any less worse though.

Unfortunately for me, or perhaps it is quite fortunate, I prefer to have milk in my tea. But without the capacity to constantly generate a hundred Watts of power, it’s not exactly readily accessible. Even if I do find a bottle lying around, it’s long since gone sour.

I haven’t had a cup of hot tea in so long I barely remember the experience. Luckily for me, without available milk to tempt me into drinking any, I have a fair amount lying around. Otherwise, I’d have likely already used any that came into my possession.

You might think it’s odd how I’m spending this time writing about tea, when I surely must have better things to do. Like surviving. And though that might be true, I really can’t stress how much tea has taken over our remnants of society.

Normally there is something better I would have to do, namely searching for more scraps of tea leaves. But I’m sitting down after already spending a long stretch of time looking. All that work has made me extremely thirsty.

I never thought I’d long so much for tea.