Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Flu: Last Rites and Tickled.

Having the Flu is a lot like having a tattoo that fades out in a week or so, maybe longer, but in this case the after affects are not so much visual as emotional and physical. I live alone so when I’m feeling like I’m about to die there is this odd fear, an old familiar thing, that I might die out here and it will be X amount of days before anyone notices. Friday I picked the phone up twice to call an ambulance to come get me and take me to the hospital. I would not have called a friend to drive me anywhere with this stuff in the same car.

The frailty of my body is disheartening.

A female friend of mine got ticked at me once for tickling her and I could tell she was more than just a little pissed off at me and she tried to pin me to the floor for it. She had a good twenty pounds on me but it was not working pounds, not usable muscle and I pretended for a moment that she was winning and then simply flipped her over.  She clearly believed she was about to pin me. Then she got serious about getting out from under me but at that point she realized I was toying with her. I worked for a living. I did hard physical labor ten to twelve hours a day and I was in great shape. She was a college student who walked to school to get exercise. What really hurt her feelings is that even though she hadn’t done her body any favors she expected it to respond when she had an emotional response. She told me this and without thinking I said, “I sure hope you can summon that during sex” what was NOT the thing to say at that time. I let her up and she popped me. And even that wasn’t what she expected. I think that was her bridge burning moment with me, an event that was going to let me know just how mad I had made her and she was going to do something about it. But I pretty much expected it, moved fast enough so that even if I got hit it wasn’t like taking a direct hit, and I laughed at her, even though the punch had hurt somewhat. I think that was her moment of realization that men could be very dangerous creatures for a lot of reasons and being mad at a man because he did something inappropriate didn’t translate into being able to control that man through anger, unless he permitted it.

Demanding that your body react to the flu in accordance with your desires is a lot like demanding from it that you take out someone stronger than you with sheer willpower.

The woman and I sat down with a lot of beer one night and she told me she was sorry that she had swung on me and I told her I had earned it, and she told me that she liked that I tickled her but only to a degree and that tickling past that point was assault. I agreed and even though I had her permission to tickle her to some degree I stopped altogether.

The flu takes away your ability to decide what to do next with your body and your life. For the last week I’ve cancelled social meetings, stopped going out in public, and washed my hands a thousand times. I missed three days of work and a couple of hours here and there. I’m more than a little pissed about it,

The woman and I were really drunk when she told me that what really made her mad was the fact that she wanted me to put my hands on her sometimes but when I tickled her it made her nervous about my hands getting close to her body. I was a little startled at this information and realized that I had been missing some subtle clues as to which way she was leaning when we were drunk together.

I think what she was really trying to say is that by tickling her first I was making her surrender to that sensation or the promise that would stop before anything else started, and she would have rather not gone through that to get to where she wanted to go.

That’s why I told people, shouted at them out of a window a few times, that I had the flu and to stay away. Only one person told me that it wasn’t an issue but I got away from that situation anyway. You can’t say yes to something bad to get to something good and there not be some sort of abrogation of freewill. At least when you don’t how really bad it is.

I went for a walk at lunch today and put a mile in and decided to quit. Yes, one mile, walking. I was glad I did for a few minutes later I felt the fatigue return but I got my mile in. Tomorrow I’m going to try for two and work myself back into the shape I once was in before this all started. I still feel bad but I feel a lot less bad than a few days ago just not as good as I would like.

I don’t think we talk enough about the things we do and how those things we do affect the free will of people we’re trying to influence. I think it says a lot more about me that someone who wanted to sleep with me had to get wasted to tell me than it does about her. That was a very, very long time ago, but I don’t remember ever asking her how she felt about it or how it made her feel.

When you can’t do anything but feel as bad as a human being can feel and then you start feeling worse, these thoughts will come to visit you.

Pity they didn’t arrive sooner.

Take Care,


Tuesday, February 16, 2016


With me, the Flu is not Through.

With my new personal assistant, The Flu, I can now take all the time I need off from work because there is no hope of me being productive for more than an hour or two a day. I’m certain my employees and my supervisors are thrilled as well as everyone else who depends on me. This nasty little pathogen has cost me five days of my life, three days of work, and at least one day, Friday, that I remember as being somewhere between a nightmare and having nightmares. It’s like having a disease with a clipboard going down the lists of things that bring misery and it can bring it.

The weather was just plain damn cold as hell when this thing hit. Lows were in the thirties and highs, such as they were, never got above sixty. It was seventy-two today, and it’s in the middle sixties right now. Yet here I am, still stuffed in a sleeping bag trying to stay warm because my body has ceased to heat itself. The fever hasn’t been back yet but I am still cold.

The cough was gone. Then it was back. Then it was gone. It was here this morning but missing right now. Flip a coin, divide by two, take the average and get the square root of the means and add one and that’ll tell you if the cough is back, or just left, or about to reappear, or…

I sneezed today, five times in a row, hard, and if I would have had a problem with incontinence, I would have discovered it at that moment. It felt like my entire body was going to be turned inside out.

I went into work for a short time today and people who had the flu last year dove out of my way screaming, holding up crosses, tossing their children in front of me to save themselves and cursing my name in hopes that some god would hear their lamentations and strike me dead with a bolt of lightning or Tamiflu. Seriously, I stayed out of the office and stayed away from being close to people indoors, but I had to go make contact with a few people and they acted like I had pulled a gun on them. I’m not sure, at this point, if that reaction is unwarranted. I’ve never had a conversation with someone who kept backing away from me but I have now. There was a time I had a roommate who had problems with his breath. I know how he felt going through life now.

A surgical mask isn’t out of the question and people like me ought not be out of the ordinary but everyone looked at me strangely until I told them why I was wearing it. Hey man, what’cha got on your face it you look like… you have the flu? MOTHER OF ALL THINGS HOLY GET THE HELL AWAY FROM ME. I bought some cough drops at the drug store and the woman told me I couldn’t use my credit card for anything less than a buck fifty.
“Do you really want to handle my money?” I asked her and she recoiled in terror. I just bought more cough drops to make the minimum.

Uh huh, I’m packing and stacking those viruses people. I know how a skunk can walk through the middle of a pack of wolves and those mothers scatter like hell. You guys with those dreads think people will get the hell out of your way? Dig my mask and hacking cough. It’s like Godzilla with a snot problem, I tell you.

In all good truth, it’s a scary thing to be carrying this thing around with me. I had a meeting scheduled this morning and told the man I was supposed to meet with I was calling it off. He asked me why and I told him I had the flu and that did it. The man has a pregnant wife. Fuck work. Fuck the job. Fuck everything. He and I both bailed out on this one.
Don’t be stupid people. Please. If you have the flu stay the hell away from those who are at the most risk. I got this from driving a truck someone with the flu had driven. I locked my work truck and took the keys home with me. Let them find another ride because this one is a hot zone. Don’t put other people at risk. You might damn well kill someone. What if I had gone into that meeting today and infected that guy who might have infected his pregnant wife?

Everyone you meet in a store or on the street is someone you might pass it onto. Wear a mask, wash your hands like a religion, and stay the hell away from people.

More than anything else about this disease I hate the fragility of my body. The idea that something, anything at all, can reduce me to a near comatose and worthless pile of flesh and boogers is more that can be stood or understood. Common tasks like cleaning the house or washing clothes or doing the dishes seem monumental and arduous to a degree. When the Cousin Canines escaped yesterday going after them in a field seemed like an epic journey. Today, rigging the kennel to keep them captive took all I had and then some. Having to rest after that is like watching someone walk a lap then have to take a break.

Yes, for the elevedy billionth time, I did get a flu shot. No, it didn’t work. At the same time I’m out on the tail end of this thing, I hope, and the worst seems to be behind me right now. Wearing the surgical mask is kind of fun, though. I just hope one of those open carry people don’t riddle me with holes thinking I’m trying to rob the drug store or the doctor’s office.

You know they say that’s the two places you always find old people. And sick people. And old sick people.

Take Care,


Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Flying McCoys.

Flu Dreams and Nyquil Nightmares

Last night I went to bed sometime around eight. I had a dream where I had to get up out of bed and go into the kitchen but there was total darkness and I didn’t see the snake until I stepped on it. It was a huge snake, seven or eight feet long, and it was venomous; a Cottonmouth. In my efforts to escape it I fell forward on top of it and I felt its scales against the bare skin of my chest and belly. I went into some sort of seizure and I could feel the snake under me as I convulsed uncontrollably.

I woke up and it was 9:10 by the clock.

A double shot of Nyquil quelled the snake dream and the fit of coughing that had returned with it. However, next on the list of things I did not want slithering around in my head was a dream in which I was in a very large building with a woman who I didn’t know. I had two dachshunds with me and the woman wanted to help me walk them. Somehow we were suddenly outside and the two dogs were miles away. I went up to a high point in the apartment and spotted them at the Mall. We went there and I saw a cat nearly get hit by a car. It went into a storm drain and as I tried to reach for the cat it slipped into the darkness of the drain. We saw the two dogs wandering across the parking lot but no matter how fast we ran towards them they would always be just as far away.

I woke up again and this time it was nearly three. The coughing had returned and I got up to let all of the dogs out.  By this time my dreams of a complete recovery had also vanished. The coughing had disappeared Saturday but it was beginning to settle back in. Still the joint pain was gone and the feeling of severe fatigue had not returned. More Nyquil and more sleep would help, surely.

The dream began with a guy I knew was a cook giving me a tour of his restaurant while we were invisible to the patrons and the staff. The fare at the restaurant was Asian and the man spoke with a thick accent. We came to a table where a party of eight was grumbling about the service and the cook lamented that these eight people would come in, order a lot of food, complain about how it was prepared, and invariably leave no tip. They kept returned, at least once a month, and when they did come in they stayed for nearly two hours. Waitresses who were assigned to that part of the restaurant worked their butts off and got nothing in return, but still, they had a job to do. The cook and I reappeared and he sharply rebuked a woman whose job it was to serve the group.

Suddenly, I found myself look at a table where there was no one sitting yet it seemed as if there should be. Then I remembered, my wife and I were supposed to be dining there. “She’s at The Plaza” a young man told me and The Plaza is a restaurant in Thomasville Georgia ( I also haven’t been married in over a dozen years) that I haven’t been to in a long time. She reappeared and sat down and explained that she had stepped out to eat with a friend which I thought was ridiculous. Then she had this odd sparkling and glowing aura about her like we were in a cartoon and her eyes became very large as if we were in an Anime cartoon.

And that was more than enough to wake me up for good.

It was after six when I awoke for good which means I have to do better than that tomorrow if I’m going to get to work on time, if I go into work.

This flu thing is a bitch.

Take Care,


Questionable Content by Jeph Jacques.

Happy VD Day!

Today is Valentine's Day, a big day for greeting card and candy sales, which goes back more than 1,500 years to the Feast of St. Valentine established in the fifth century, though nobody is sure exactly which of the many martyred Valentines it is the feast day of.
The ancient Romans had a fertility festival celebrated at mid-February of every year. The festival was called Lupercalia in honor of Lupa, the wolf who was said to have suckled Romulus and Remus, who went on to found the city of Rome. Lupercalia was a pagan fertility festival celebrated with sacrifices of goats and dogs, with milk and wool and blood. Young men would cut strips from the skins of the goats then strip naked and run through the city in groups, where young women would line up to be spanked with the switches, believing it would improve their fertility. Lupercalia was still wildly popular long after the Roman Empire was officially Christian, and it's not difficult to see why the Church would have wished to have a different sort of holiday take its place.
Chaucer gets credit for establishing St. Valentine's Day as a romantic occasion, when in the 14th-century he wrote in The Parlement of Foules of a spring landscape "on seynt Valentynes day" where the goddess Nature watched as every kind of bird came before her to choose and seduce their mates.
In the early 15th century, the Duke of Orleans wrote a Valentine's poem to his faraway wife while held captive in the Tower of London. Shakespeare mentioned the sending of Valentines in Ophelia's lament in Hamlet. And hundreds of years later, with the advent of cheaper postal services and mass-produced cards, the tradition of sending lacy love notes on the holiday was enormously popular with the Victorians. In 2010, more than 1 billion cards were sent worldwide.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Flu and Me.

I have the flu. Yes, I did get a flu shot, no, it did not help. I started coming down hard Thursday morning and bailed out of work. For the next two days I would migrate from the bed to the sofa, and from the sofa to the bed, and that’s all I could manage. For forty-eight hours my world became a very surreal and painful thing. There isn’t anything in my life experiences to compare to the flu. There just isn’t anything out there quite as bad. Not that Ebola, Malaria, Cancer, and songs from Justina Beaver aren’t far worse diseases, mind you, it’s just that as far as nonfatal infections go, this one ought to.

I knew I was in trouble, and because I’ve had the flu before, damn, it’s been ten years ago, hasn’t it, I knew what it was. Like the last time, ten years ago, I got it this time from someone at work. I landed Thursday morning and for the next forty-eight hours thing that usually happened ceased to happen and things that didn’t ever really happen seemed to happen.

Personal hygiene took a hit and I didn’t realize it until this morning that I hadn’t taken a shower since Thursday morning. Washing clothes didn’t happen. Worse than any of this, I nearly stopped eating. Nausea, weakness, and a host of joint pains kept me from moving around enough to do more than migrate from sofa to bed and from bed to sofa. The joint pain is not something I remembered from last time. But my knees hurt like hell. The immobility caused my back to start hurting. My hips soon fell in line with everything else and pain became something I couldn’t avoid as long as I wasn’t moving and moving made things worse.

The surreal part of the disease is how my dreams were shaped. There was a reoccurring dream where I was operating some sort of machine that was constructing odd shaped metal somethings. The pieces of metal were somehow connected to me being sick and if I worked hard enough I would get well again. There was a dream where I was trying to get well to keep from being fired from work, because of the rules forbidding employees taking anything home from work, and clearly, I had taken this flu home from work.

Time ceased to exist in the form it usually takes. I lay on the sofa yesterday and watched the shadows in the yard move from one side of the trees to the other. It seemed to happen in just a few minutes. Last night the clock seemed to move forward and backward when I looked at it. The red numbers at one point seemed liquid and warm. I was alternatively too hot or too cold and at some point in the night I got up and let the dogs out, which I saw as a very good sign.

My sense of taste and smell deserted me and in their place left two strangers. Suddenly, I couldn’t stand the smell of garlic, the best spice ever, and my mouth tasted like I had been gargling lead BBs. Food that I had prepared a couple of day ago and loved suddenly smelled vile and disgusting. Worse, I began craving French fries. Having the flu and craving French Fries is like being horny after you’ve been diagnosed with a STD.

When I coughed it felt like millions of tiny needles were lodged in my throat. And if I coughed long enough and hard enough it felt like I was going to puke out everything I owned from the waist down. It actually hurt in places it usually takes a swift kick to hurt when I coughed hard. Worse and worse, coughing make my throat drier and I wasn’t able to get up and get water. Friday, the 12th of February, 2016, was a fucking bad day.

A few of the odd after effects of being bedridden for two complete days is I didn’t drive for two days. When I went into town early this morning it was as if I had never driven before. I nearly hit my mailbox when I pulled over to it. I think the virus affected my sense of balance. I also think that two days of total inactivity produce a “habit” in in brain to not account for movement. It’s harder to type than it was before. I feel better right now than I did twenty-four hours ago, certainly, but at the same time, I can tell I am nowhere near one hundred percent.

Tyger Linn, of all people, never left my side when I was down. She stayed on top of me as much as she could and she showed her teeth to the Cousins whenever they drew near. She let Lilith approach me but Tyger Linn wasn’t going to let anything happen to me, whatever it was that was happening to me. She is a very curious creature, this little Pibble; for all her soul of a huntress and her drive to be outside, Tyger Linn is the one who stayed with me. Of all the surprising things this malady has brought Tyger Linn as a nurse is perhaps the biggest surprise of all.

I feel better right now than I did when I woke up this morning. I feel better right now than I did when I began this writing. Whichever virus has struck me down, its time has not passed entirely but its time is certainly nigh. The joint pain is gone. My appetite is returning. The coughing is considerable lessened. The fever broke and has not returned. I’m getting up and moving around more normally again, and I might even throw in some Yoga today, but I’m certainly not going to overdo it. But what makes me really feel like I am on the mend and getting better is Tyger Linn is outside laying in the sunshine and not sitting on top of me.

The doctor has spoken.

Take Care,


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Lost and Found

It rained hard Wednesday night and into Thursday. By noon Thursday the rain had let up some but the wind had picked up. Cooler weather was on the way and Friday it was supposed to be near freezing. I got home close to six on Thursday and the Cousins weren’t at the gate barking their fool heads off. I thought I had sneaked up on everyone and all four dogs had gone to sleep on the porch. Tyger Linn appeared out of the woods that are inside of the fence but the Cousins, and Lilith Anne Magnolia Mutt did not. Three out of four dogs were gone. This was bad.

The Cousins had dug out before but they always hung around. Lilith had never left. My first reaction was one of anger. They had to be close and there would be no treats for anyone when I found them and I might even make them sleep outside. I tromped around the property, found where the Cousins had dug their way out, and the footprints went everywhere. I followed as best I could but they lead everywhere and they lead nowhere.
After dark I drove around looking for some sign but everywhere I went there were tracks of dogs, some dogs, my dogs, who knows whose dogs, but there was no sign of Cousin Dogs, or of Lilith. Anger melted away into concern and concern became worry. I went to bed and hoped to hear the sound of Lilith’s nails on the door. At three the Cousins returned but they were without my Little Girl Dog.

Lilith is the one who doesn’t like to go outside in the rain and who will walk around mud puddles and would just rather not do the outdoors thing at all. She wants me to hold the umbrella over her when she pees in the rain. She likes her spot on the sofa and her spot on the bed. At three in the morning I realized Lilith was spending the night outside in the cold and wet, and worry was beginning to edge into despair.

I had two meetings Friday morning that I could not miss but I was back at home by nine. Lilith was not there to greet me. I began a foot search that would last three hours and cover most of the area around my house. I drove the roads and looked in the ditches for her body. I started making phone calls and sending out emails, and I started stopping and talking to people in their yards.

Saturday I built a fire. Lilith loved to sit by the fire and I though the smoke might draw her in. Friday night had been a very long night. If Lilith was still in the woods, she was partially protected by the Cousins Thursday night but Friday she would be alone and the Coyotes would kill her. If I heard them howling I intended to go after them, and I meant to kill as many of them as I could if they hurt Lilith. I built a fire Saturday and I walked. There was nothing. Despair became wrapped in guilt and covered with horrible resignation. If Lilith wasn’t being actively protected she was in danger of being killed or shot or kidnapped by dog fighters. Saturday night I slept on the sofa to be closer to the door and my sister opened up a five hundred dollar reward. People started calling me to ask where she might be. I had no idea but I did know where I wanted people to look.

Saturday night I went out into the woods and screamed her name out into the darkness. All the emotions now boiled down into one; Find that Girl Dog. Sunday morning I go up and I walked then I drove and then I came home and I waited.

Oddly, the one person I hadn’t been able to reach was a man who owns a hunting lodge near my house. I called him again Monday morning and couldn’t get him. I called him Monday afternoon, and no, he had not seen her. But, he added, I’ll call around.

Fifteen minutes later he called me back. Someone on FB had posted something about someone finding a dog near where I lived. He didn’t know the people who posted it but he knew someone who did. A friend of a friend of a friend… But it was all I had. Five minutes later he called again. Someone who knew someone who had found a dog matching Lilith’s description was going to call me if it was okay to give my number out. Ten minutes later a woman called me and told me out on Hickory Head Road someone in a brick house had found a dog but she was at work. I got into the truck and started driving. Hickory Head Road is close, a couple of miles at the most, and the site she described was only a couple of miles more. I stopped at a house and the man who answered the door said, yes, he had seen the dog, but it was next door.

I walked to the next house and it was a brick house, and I called out her name, “Lilith Anne!” and nothing. I stopped, and I called out again, “Lilith Anne!” and I heard a noise. It was a whiney yipping noise and Lilith came around the corner of the house, alive, alive, alive, alive, alive, alive, alive, alive, and she was running so hard and wagging so hard she nearly fell. I hugged her and she licked my face and she whined and yipped, and I had my Little Girl Dog back with me and she was alive.

Lilith was in great shape but I could tell she had begun the descent into homelessness. She had ticks on her and she has never had a tick before. There’s a rash on her belly running onto one of her legs and there’s various very small cuts and scratches. The stress of losing her family, her pack, and her home, had begun to wear her down. This is why stray dogs look the way they do. It’s traumatizing for them to be where they are and not where they should be; at home with a family.

At any given time during all of this, I was one person away from being connected to people who knew where Lilith was. If I could have found the right person Friday then Lilith would have been home that very day. The thing here is that as big of a time drain FB might be, if I had been on that site I might have found her sooner or someone might have found me sooner. The biggest and most important tool in Dog Rescue remains the Book Of Faces.

To the people out there who network out trying to reunite dogs and their families you will never know how grateful I am at this very moment for the people who brought Lilith Anne Magnolia Mutt back home to me.
Thank you,


Monday, February 8, 2016

Lilith is HOME!

And after a good meal and some loving, she is now asleep on the bed.

Someone a couple of miles from here found here and was feeding her and she is in good health and I have my little girl back home with me.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Lilith is Lost.

Lilith is gone. Thursday afternoon the Cousins dug out of the yard and Lilith followed them. They came back around three in the morning Friday but Lilith didn’t. I have looked everywhere for her, the neighbors have looked for her, there is a reward out and I have spoken to everyone who lives within five miles of here.

I’m out of ideas. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Writer's Almanac

Betty Friedan  wrote:
"The problem lay buried, unspoken, for many years in the minds of American women. It was a strange stirring, a sense of dissatisfaction, a yearning that women suffered in the middle of the twentieth century in the United States. Each suburban wife struggled with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries, matched slipcover material, ate peanut butter sandwiches with her children, chauffeured Cub Scouts and Brownies, lay beside her husband at night - she was afraid to ask even of herself the silent question - 'Is this all?'"

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

More Anti-Veganism Stuff

It's odd that the one lifestyle that holds the most promise to do the most good for the earth is the one people feel the most comfortable making fun of in public.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Happy Groundhog Day

Happy Bloomsday!

James Joyce said, "The artist, like the God of the Creation, remains within or behind or beyond or above his handiwork, invisible, refined out of existence, indifferent, paring his fingernails."

Monday, February 1, 2016

Frederick Douglas Quotes

"To make a contented slave it is necessary to make a thoughtless one. It is necessary to darken the moral and mental vision and, as far as possible, to annihilate the power of reason."

"Without education he lives within the narrow, dark and grimy walls of ignorance. Education, on the other hand, means emancipation. It means light and liberty. It means the uplifting of the soul of man into the glorious light of truth, the light by which men can only be made free. To deny education to any people is one of the greatest crimes against human nature. It is easy to deny them the means of freedom and the rightful pursuit of happiness and to defeat the very end of their being."

"It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men."

"I would unite with anybody to do right; and with nobody to do wrong."

You know who you are.

Upcoming Fiction: Natalie

The thing about writing about a young woman who one night decides to kill a coworker just to experience the feeling of killing. My problem is that I have to make her believable. Were this a male character I could have him as a former football player or some sort of sports jock, but this is a person who weighs less than one hundred ten pounds. Christa, my last female serial killer used alcohol, drugs, and sexual pressure to kill and to get men to kill others for her. But here is a woman, Natalie, who uses weapons like a man would use, and she also uses her mind in creating opportunities to kill to make murder look like an accident. The real problem in this is trying to distance the killer from the crime scene. She lived in the same building and worked with her first victim and no one thought anything of it. But now her boyfriend and a fellow church goer tumbles down a waterfall and both are killed. And there is Natalie. The first responders see her as a shocked and shaken girlfriend and there is an outpouring of goodwill towards her but one detective remembers interviewing her. And so it begins.

What the best way to keep the cops from watching you? The answer is to become a cop and to become a damn good one. Natalie joins the police force with the purpose of finding a way to find out how to kill again without getting caught. Cloaked as a religious zealot, Natalie finds herself at a natural arm’s length to the rougher crowd a delight to those immersed in religion. Clean cut and seemingly chaste, Natalie comes across as a lightly odd but very good cop.

Natalie watches people.

There a guy who walks home from school after basketball practice and he always wear a black hoodie, rain or shine, hot or cold, and he’s always dancing as he walks. Off duty, Natalie stakes out the gas station the young man passes on his way home. He dances past the station, Natalie dons a black hoodie, dances down the sidewalk, and steals the car that’s at the pump. She heads down the street and as a homeless man cross in front of her she runs him over than abandons the car.

The next day she’s working the case as a detective where the surveillance film shows what appears to be a young man in a black hoodie steal the same car that ran over a homeless man.

Meet Natalie. It’s going to take a while for anyone to catch her.

Take Care,


The Public's Misperception of Veganism Persists

Quarantine, 1918

The Writer's Almanac

Quarantine, 1918 
by Faith Shearin

Listen Online

There were towns
that knew about the flu before
it arrived; they had time to imagine the germs
on a stranger’s skirts, to see how death
could be sealed in an envelope,
how a fever could bloom in the evening,
and take a life overnight.
A few villages, deep in the mountains,
posted guards on their roads,
and no one was allowed to come or go,
not even a grandmother carrying a cake;
no mail was accepted and all the words
and packages families sent
to one another went unopened,
unanswered. Trains were told
not to stop, so they glowed for a moment
before swaying
towards some other place. The food
at the corner store never came
from out of town and no one went
to see a distant auntie
or state fair. For awhile, the outside world
existed in imagination, in memory,
in books or suitcases, deep in closets.
There was nothing but the town itself,
hiding from what was possible,
and the children cutting dolls
from paper, their scissors sharp.

"Quarantine, 1918" by Faith Shearin from Orpheus, Turning. © The Broadkill River Press, 2015.