Edgar Allan Poe’s Ebola.

Once upon a rainy evening, while I worked but dreamed of leaving,
For the tasks I dwelt upon were all a most insufferable bore,
While I typed away, unceasing, suddenly I heard a wheezing
And the sound of someone sneezing just outside our office door.
“‘Tis some passerby”, I muttered, “sneezing near our office door –
Only this, and nothing more.”

I would like to state, moreover, this occurred in late October,
When the mood is dark and sober and imaginations soar.
Eagerly I wished this stranger would be gone and quell the danger
That seemed sure to strike our chamber should he think to linger more –
Silently I willed the man to quit the threshold of our door
And to trouble us no more.

But, despite my quiet pleading, no footsteps were heard receding,
And the sound of labored breathing filled the air beyond the door.
“Scoundrel!” thought I. “Who’s this man to walk up to our door and stand
With no hello and no demand, and pant upon our office door?
Who’s this creeper, why’s he here, and why’s he breathing on our door?”
Then the stranger sneezed some more.

Presently, to quell my fears, I stuck my fingers in my ears,
But I could not help but hear the stranger knock upon our door.
It was nearing closing time; surely it would be no crime
To leave him out there in the grime left by the heavy rain downpour –
Leave this man to think us absent, and those knocking sounds ignore,
And my peace of mind restore.

But he knocked again, determined, and I felt unduly burdened,
Duty-bound to find out what had brought him to our office door,
So I called out, “Just a second!” as I walked in his direction,
Praying that no grave infection would attack me from his pores,
Hoping fervently that what this man was bringing to our door
Was a cold and nothing more.

Suddenly the door flew open, and I rued that I had spoken,
For this man was rife with tokens of the illness that he bore;
Glistening with sweat excess, he claimed he was from UPS
With a box for our address, a package we’d been waiting for.
This he uttered, then he coughed all over me, and box, and door,
As I stared at him in horror.

Terrified out of my mind, I grabbed his clipboard, quickly signed,
Shut the door and closed the blinds upon that sickly, fevered form.
Though by panic paralyzed, I knew that I must sanitize,
Hurrying to improvise, I snatched some Lysol from my drawer
Used its disinfecting spray to cleanse my hands and box and door –
“Please protect me,” I implored.

But it was with spirit sour that, within that selfsame hour,
I could feel the fever start to burn into my very core,
Slow at first but then more dire; soon I was a walking pyre,
Blazing with a savage fire like that which doth from Hell outpour.
Curse thee, wretch, for bringing this Ebola to my office door!
Quoth the virus, “Wait, what?”

Then to my computer turning, fever still within me burning,
I began to Google like I’d never Googled e’er before.
“WebMD, what’s my prognosis? How to fight this plague ferocious?
Which the meds and what the doses? Tell me truly, I implore!
Tell me what the pharmacy can give me for this viral war?”
Quoth the virus, “Dude, wtf, I’m just the flu.”

But my thoughts I could not vary from that dratted Typhoid Mary
And the sentence that he carried and delivered to my door.
Death he brought me, death and pain! I’d all to lose and naught to gain!
This evil flowing through my veins would be my end – I was done for.
Too soon the sunset of my life had come to pass on Death’s dark shores!
Quoth the virus, “Will someone please explain to this nutjob that I’m not Ebola?”

And Ebola, cruel and chilling, still is killing, still is killing
My poor body hour by hour as I lie shaking on the floor.
Prithee do not weep with sorrow should I fail to wake tomorrow
But this slice of wisdom borrow: stay inside and bar your door,
Trust no others – all are foes – and set no foot outside your door!
Quoth the virus, “You’re a fucking idiot. I’m gonna go find someone sane to infect.”

 

My sincere apologies to Mr. Poe who I’m sure is currently rolling in his grave, likely put there by Ebola.

 

The Great Paint Robbery

When I was in elementary school, my family got a computer. As with all mid-90s computers, it was massive and it was slow. We had to buy a special desk set just to accommodate all its bits and pieces, and the rat’s nest of cords that trailed over to the wall outlets weighed about as much as I did, but we thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Up until that point, the only computers I had used belonged to the colony of dated Apples my school kept in its dark womb of a computer lab, along with a similarly archaic complement of dot matrix printers. But the school was undergoing significant renovations, and the plan was for School 2: School Harder to include brand spanking new, top of the line computers loaded with marvels like Windows 95 and Mario Teaches Typing.

To keep us up to speed on these pinnacles of technology whilst away from the classroom setting, the school commanded gently suggested that all of our parents purchase equivalent machines for our homes. School computer access outside of class time would, of course, be granted on a limited basis to any students whose parents were awful people who didn’t care about their children’s education, but it was not the preferred option.

And so it came to pass that we owned a computer.

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This is why I’m The Nut, Part II

I get irrationally excited about fog. You know how in the winter, children will wake up and immediately bolt for the window to check if it’s snowing? That’s what I’m like once October hits, except about fog.

We’ve had some disgustingly beautiful weather the past few days, and I’ll have none of that. It’s October. I’m supposed to be swaddled in layers of fleece hoodies and scarves and gloves with those special fingertips that let you text while wearing them. I’m not supposed to be sweating my way over to Starbucks in a tank top to get my goddamn pumpkin spice latte. How are us white girls supposed to drink our PSLs in our Ugg boots* when it’s not boot weather, I ask you?!

But today…today I knew something was different. The sun still greeted me as I pulled out of our underground parking, yes, but underneath that cheerful glow there was a clamminess to the air and a sense of promise. There will be fog today, that clamminess whispered to me. Don’t worry about that jackass sun, we’ll take care of him. We’ll take care of him REAL good.

I wondered what the clamminess meant by, “we”, but I didn’t ask, because if there’s some kind of organized weather mafia out there, I’d just as soon turn a blind eye.

By the time I got to work, the skies were a flat, uniform grey. As I turned onto our road I could see a haze descending on the mountains through my passenger side window.

Soon, the clamminess whispered.

And then, just before ten, I looked out the window, and a thick swirl of fog looked back.

Slowly, and with much dignity, I rose from my chair, exited my cubicle and strolled casually over to the window. Which involved an impressive amount of self-restraint considering I was as excited as a dog that’s just found its favorite ball behind the sofa. “BALL! BALL BALL BALL BALL BALL!” goes the dog. “FOG! FOG FOG FOG FOG FOG!” goes The Nut.

And I leaned on the windowsill and I gazed at my beloved autumn fog with a big happy stupid grin on my face.

I love October.

 

*DISCLAIMER: I do not own Ugg boots. I think they’re awful and therefore I am a disgrace to white girls everywhere.

Nuts on ice.

I went for my first skate since March last night, and it was glorious.

There’s a rink about a five minute walk from our apartment. It reopened for the season just this week, and after six months of no ice, this Nut was not about to miss the first opportunity to lace on her skates and get gliding. I suppose I could have spent those six months going to one of the rinks across town that’s open year-round, but I like that I can just stroll over to this one. No traffic stress. No frantic search for parking. Just a nice walk through the neighborhood and a familiar face to greet me with a smile and scan my pass when I get there.

I love the sessions early in the season before skating parties and dates on the ice get into full swing. I love having room to really move. There were only a handful of us out there, maybe ten in total, making our way around the rink with varying levels of ease.

I started out a bit wobbly. My skates were newly sharpened, but I forgot that the ice in October kind of sucks and you just don’t get the same bite with your edges that you do later in the year when overall temperatures are lower and they don’t have to try so hard to keep the surface frozen.

Once I compensated for the lack of give in the ice, though, I was zipping around the rink like I had never missed a day. I did a few simple tricks to get them out of my system and then I settled back into a long, relaxed stride.

And I began people-watching.

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