8 Hour Bug

The problem with a mask is that sometimes you forget how to take it off.  I never wore a mask before Covid hit and I used to see all of these oriental people wearing them when the bird flu epidemic occurred in 2005 and it seemed so strange and foreign to me.  Supposedly it spread across the globe, but I never saw anyone wearing a mask here in the US.  The first avian influenza was first detected in 1996 in geese in China.  It is thought that the 1918 influenza pandemic probably sprang from North American domestic and wild birds, not from the mixing of human and swine viruses, but back then we didn’t have the technology to determine this.  Once humans contracted the bird flu, it was spread from large droplets contained in coughs or sneezes from those that were sick.  It was thought that these large droplets didn’t travel more than three feet and people were most likely to spread flu viruses in the first two days of illness, although they would have been infectious up to a day earlier.

These masks looked stupid to me, but I could understand why people were wearing them, however everybody wore a mask in 1918 and the pandemic continued to run its course.  When Covid hit, I loaded up on masks and hand sanitizer because I didn’t want to get infected.  I got my vaccines and booster when they came out, but the pandemic is still with us, because many people are refusing to get vaccinated.  Last night I caught a bug that started out with body aches and it reminded me of the reaction that I had to the booster shot, which put me out of action for almost a week.  I thought that maybe I was getting Covid, but I haven’t gone out any place, so I didn’t think that was possible.  A half hour after the body aches, I got these shakes and my whole body was shaking like a tree in a wind storm.

I probably should have taken my temperature and checked my blood pressure, but all I wanted to do was sleep.  I took 3 Tylenol tablets and went to bed at 8:30 last night and got under 2 blankets.  I woke up at 10:30 very week and all sweaty.  I had the hardest time trying to get out of my bed, as I was still sore and weak and shaking all over.  I changed my clothes because they were soaked with sweat, went to the bathroom, had something to drink and then had a frozen yogurt bar as a snack.  I placed a chair next to my bed to give me something to grab on to and make it easier for me to get out of my bed the next time I had to get up.  I slept soundly till 4AM when I finally felt better.  I read that getting chills can be part of your body’s defense mechanism in fighting an infection.  I guess that being under two blankets helped me to sweat out my cold, but today I need to wash my sheets.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie First Line Friday hosted by Dylan.

Brown Muddy River

Mary Lou noted the churn of the brown river water and thought, ‘again?’  Mary Lou had remained chaste and mostly pure her whole life, but this man that she recently met was pulling her in the opposite direction, trying to sweep her off of her feet before she got a chance to get up and dance and this was jeopardizing her emotional wellbeing.  Mary Lou liked the excitement of having someone special in her life, but she didn’t really know this guy and she was having trouble trusting him.  All of her girlfriends were warning her to go slowly and be careful and not to put too much trust in this guy that she didn’t know.  She felt like she was caught in his spell, like a fly trapped in a spider’s web and he was controlling her with his good looks.  She had fallen for some guys before, who had taken advantage of her and this new guy was tugging at those same primal emotions and instincts, which she knew she had to keep under control.

Mary Lou made up her mind that she was ready for vaginal penetration, after all everyone of her friends had gone all the way, but she also had this good feeling about keeping her virtue and just because every one of them decided to take things a step further, that didn’t put her under any obligation to follow them.  She was certain that some of her so-called friends were judging her behind her back, but at least she didn’t get pregnant like her sister Cindy Lou did.   She still had her v-card, but she had done some stuff with boys before and she wasn’t a completely innocent little flower any more.  She wasn’t stupid, as she knew how sex worked and her parents put her on birth control pills after what happened to her sister.  She also kept condoms in her purse and she practiced putting them on carrots, so she would be ready when it was her time.  She made up her mind that when it did happen, she would embrace it with enthusiasm and be comfortable with what she was doing.

The brown river water represented her need to bear children and this told her that she should remain focused on her goal of having a permanent husband and not a temporary lover.  She laid the groundwork for her plan long ago and she was not going to stray from this personal endeavor.  She had dreams about a masculine figure making her feel more feminine and she reasoned that this would affect her on a spiritual and emotional level as well as a physical and that it was rational to take the plunge eventually, as she saw nothing but a pleasant and bright future ahead for her.  The river was big and wide, just like her dreams, but she had to be careful that it didn’t represent her tears.  There is a lot of joy in the water, but it was also unpredictable and she could get swallowed up by the currents.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie First Line Friday hosted by Dylan.

A Billion Stars All Around

Nights in our desert were clear and cold.  It is all about authenticity, so when I am on vacation, I look for that off the beaten trail experience, not ones that feel as if they are manufactured for tourists.  I am comfortable living in tents, using a bush for a restroom, eating food that I catch, and I entertain myself by playing my guitar and singing.  I was singing in a local hole in the wall bar where I was being admired by hordes of women and some of them were offering themselves to me, saying that they wanted to have my baby.  These girls were out on the town, getting wrecked, and looking for someone to fuck their pain away with and who was I to deny them their satisfaction.  The girl with the sparkling earrings caught my eye and I told her that I would like to lay against her brown skin in the desert night.

I told her that I had separate sleeping bags and air mattresses and that she would be safe with me in my tent.  She said that there was nothing to do in the desert and I replied, “We will find something and there are a billion stars all around.”  She wasn’t making this easy for me, but I hoped that she wouldn’t let me down, because I was already standing in the parking lot next to my truck.  I found out a long time ago, what a woman can do to your soul, but I knew that she couldn’t take me anywhere that I didn’t want to go.  I told her that I had already considered her as being my lover and my friend, but a voice kept on whispering to me, that I would never see her again.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie First Line Friday hosted by Dylan.

Blowing In the Wind

Izzy didn’t believe in luck, until that cat crossed her path.  It wasn’t a real cat, as it was merely painted on the wall and technically it didn’t cross her path, as she crossed its path, but after spotting this black cat, she noticed a twenty-dollar bill laying on the sidewalk.  Izzy looked around and she did not see anyone, especially anyone who appeared to be searching for the money and she said to herself, “Finders keepers, losers weepers”, feeling this was a gift from heaven.  She had heard that many States have laws which require a person to return the money to its rightful owner, or to the police, but she was not sure if this applied to her in this case.  She didn’t want to break the law and be classified as a criminal, but she didn’t study law and she had no idea how to find out how this situation applied to the law.  She wondered how much time and expense she should try to invest in her search, and if it was too much, maybe she could just place the money back where she found it and let the legality become someone else’s problem.  She also wondered why the law would even bother with such a trivial thing and since nobody else was around who was going to question that it did not belong to her.

Izzy didn’t feel like a criminal and she always considered herself to be an extremely honest person and in fact she was on her way to the store to tell them that they only charged her for one gallon of milk when she purchased two.  Only an honest person would admit to being undercharged, but she always felt that honesty was the best policy.  She reasoned that if she didn’t pick up the twenty-dollar bill, that it may have been blown down the sewer by a gust of wind and nobody would benefit from that.  She thought about the police telling her to keep the money because they did not want to waist their time filling out the paperwork, but she knew that if it was a fifty or a hundred that she would have turned it in to the authorities.

She entered the store and went to customer service with her receipt and showed them that they only charged her for one milk and they said that was because it was a two for one special and she was happy about that.  Customer service also sold the lottery tickets and she knew that the only way to get that twenty out of her head would be to spend it and she purchased a twenty-dollar scratch off ticket, figuring she would press her luck.  Izzy finished shopping and she carried her goods back to her place, but somewhere on the way home she must have dropped that lotter ticket as it was nowhere to be found.  She figured that she was even, but since she had some extra time, she was going to take a quick look back by where that black cat was, hoping that she would get lucky again.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie First Line Friday hosted by Dylan.

Dog Days

August approached in a golden sweltering haze.  In August, the weather is hot, because in the Northern Hemisphere we are in summer and sometimes the days can be so stinking hot, and sultry and irritating, that it makes you lose your mind.  The dog days were historically the period following the heliacal rising of the star system Sirius, which Hellenistic astrology connected with heat, drought, sudden thunderstorms, lethargy, fever, mad dogs, and bad luck.  Sirius is the brightest star in the night sky, and it is the eye of Canis Major, the greater of Orion’s two hunting dogs.  A heliacal rising occurs when a celestial object appears in the sky at the same time, or just before the Sun, or this event is its first visible rising after a period of invisibility due to conjunction with the Sun.  Sirius’ heliacal rising occurs when the Sun is about 8° below the horizon and Sirius is 3° in altitude in the east-southeast sky, and this will happen on August 16, 2021.  Thus, the dog days are coming and there is nothing that we can do about it, except drink a lot of water and try and stay cool.

An extended heat wave has been baking everyone this summer and August is only just around the corner, so it will most likely just get worse.  I saw that there are floods in London, but here in the US many places need rain.  Record high temperatures are being broken every day on our rapidly and continuously warming planet, which spells trouble for everyone.  Recently hundreds of deaths were reported in British Columbia, Washington and Oregon, which have all been linked to a heat wave that has roasted the Pacific Northwest for days and broken Canadian heat records, sending hundreds of thousands of people scrambling for relief.  In Washington, at least 78 people died, while in British Columbia, officials counted nearly 800 deaths from June 25 to July 1.  Extreme heat is an invisible yet dangerous consequence of human-caused climate change, killing more people each year on average than any other weather-related event, according to the National Weather Service.  To be considered a heat wave, the temperatures have to be outside the historical averages for a given area.

People spend a lot of time talking about the weather, and a lot of this is friendly conversation stating what a beautiful day it is, but it is also a lot of complaining usually because it has been freezing cold, or it has been blisteringly hot or persistently raining.  Everyone has some experience with the weather and people love to express their opinions.  There are a lot of whiney people out there these days and the weather makes an easy victim for their attacks.  Chatting about the weather is never going to change anything, but it may provide relief on some level for those that need to rant.  Some like it hot and others like it cold and some just enjoy talking.

Unlike hurricane seasons or monsoons, there is no single prescribed date for the start of the North American wildfire season.  Canada and the United States share wildland firefighting resources including personnel, vehicles, helicopters and airplanes.  President Biden was on TV today speaking about the devastating wildfires that are plaguing our country and how this is also resulting in poor air quality.  Biden indicated that we have reserved up to a hundred million dollars to battle against these fires, which are out of control now.  The dog days sounds like a good excuse to run around under some sprinklers, but heat waves are no laughing matter.  They are serious weather phenomena that can be quite dangerous.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie First Line Friday hosted by Dylan.

Disoriented

I am the monster of every story.  Every time I look at myself, it is like I am having an out of body experience and I ask myself, “How did I get here?  Where did that large automobile come from?  Is that sexy man in the bed my husband?  Whose house am I in?  How come I didn’t get any mail today and what did I do to deserve this?”  I can’t identify with the person in the mirror, even though I know that she is me, but I don’t feel attached to her.  I have dark secrets that I keep caged inside of me and they keep trying to scratch their way out.  I used to be able to hide these feelings under my bed, or keep them in the closet, but the ugly beast got out of control and there is no escape from the nightmare that I am living.

Maybe this comes from a past life that I lived, one where I had to survive in a world where I was forced to kill or else, I would have been killed and I had to compete to survive.  These vicious thoughts remain with me, and I am certain that I retained the ability to kill others.  My world is filled with inner struggles and impulses that I am not able to ignore.  Maybe I should just stop looking in the mirror and trying to overanalyze everything.  I see the devil on one of my shoulders and the angel on my other shoulder is always fighting trying to flip the negative feeling to positive ones, but the devil seems to win out most of the time and my therapist never helps.  I hurt myself and maybe if there was some one around to cuddle me, I wouldn’t be such a monster, but there is always a chance that I would hurt them also, so I am probably better off sulking in my own misery.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie First Line Friday hosted by Dylan.

A Small Town

The café began to feel like her only real home.  That feeling of emptiness reared its ugly head and it contributed to her sense of loneliness, confusion and boredom and now it has taken a firm hold on every aspect of her life.  She felt a thumping in in her chest, yet she was unsure how to rid herself of this sadness.  Her hormone levels were constantly shifting, and those chemical messages were impacting the way the way that her brain was functioning.  She took this waitressing job to allow her time to give some thought to her dreams, passions and desires, but she knew that it would never give her the fulfillment and joy that she so desperately needed.  She left her husband and she wanted to start a new life and she wasn’t going back to that therapist anymore.  She took the cat with her, but it was not very good at conversation and she hoped that she could meet someone new at the café.  There wasn’t much going on in this town, but she liked it quiet and she was finally free and she felt that her husband would never find her here.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie First Line Friday hosted by Dylan.

Hallucination

People see what makes sense to them, reality notwithstanding.  I worked second shift in a warehouse and I carpooled with this guy, well actually I had a car and he had a motorcycle.  He picked me up on his bike and told me that he had just dropped some acid and he asked if I wanted some.  I had been high at work before, but I never dropped acid there, but I said what the hell and I took a hit.  It kicked in right after my shift started and this was really good shit, as it was the first time that I really hallucinated.  My buddy worked in the lumber department and I worked in plumbing, so we really didn’t see each other till lunch break, which was more of a late supper break at 8PM.

My job was to pull freight, put it in boxes and bring it to the loading dock.  I had tickets which were like check lists of what each of the different stores wanted and I would go to the bin where the items were located and put them in a box and on a wagon to take to the shipping area.  I would sit on this couch looking over the tickets to get organized.  I had a marking pen which I used to write on the boxes to indicate what store the freight was going to.  The acid kicked in while I was getting organized and I started to have an apparent perception of something that was not present.

I tested my marker out on a cardboard box, to make sure it had enough ink in it for me to complete collecting and checking off all of the required items.  The ink started to bleed out on the box and it was running all over the place.  It was like the ink had a mind of its own and a big spot landed on the floor in front of me.  This ink manifested itself like a cartoon character and it had the ability to walk and talk.  The ink spot said, “How many orders do we have tonight?”  I responded to it like it was perfectly normal that this ink spot was talking to me and I said, “It is a big night, we have twelve orders to fill.  Why don’t you push the cart down the aisles and load the cart and I will sit here and mark everything down on the list?”  The ink spot agreed that was a good idea and off he went climbing into all the bins and getting the stuff.  The plumbing freight on my ticket was being gathered by my new ink spot friend.

I saw my carpool buddy at dinner break time and he told me that he was really spaced out and he asked me how I was doing.  I told him about the ink spot that was helping me and that I had all of my orders already done for the night.  He drove me to a park where a lot of my friends were hanging out and then he went back to work to tell my boss that I had gotten sick.  I should have cared more about my job than to mess up like this, but this night I didn’t care.  There is more to this story, but I will save that for another time.  My brain knew that it was impossible for an ink spot to be doing my work for me and also that I could not have been holding a conversation with it, but sometimes you see what makes sense to you.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie First Line Friday hosted by Dylan.

Broken Party

“A perfectly brewed cup of tea can’t fix everything”, said Mitt Romney to Liz Cheney, “but we have to start somewhere.”  Liz replied, “Yes the tea is lovely, but our party is filled with cowards who are afraid of the big bully.  We need to take him down, but our wishy-washy colleges keep flipping back and forth on what they want to do.  We are losing support to our Democratic opponents, because many people know that the orange dude with all of his lies is a threat to democracy and the long-term health of the Republican Party.  We need to find a way to punish those who are enabling him with their cultish devotion to this awful man.  America has had enough of Donald Trump, and many voters hold him responsible for the January 6 insurrection, believing this should be investigated, so it doesn’t happen again.  It is our party that seems to be in another universe, as the rank-and-file members never supported impeachment, they don’t want Trump punished, and they still prefer him over any other potential candidate for president in 2024.”

Mitt said, “We are in a quandary because of this crazy glue that makes people want to stick with Trump, even though his support has reached an all-time low now.  Let’s face it, he was a lousy President, but because he was a fighter that never backed down, everyone climbed aboard the Trump train.  He is a childish man that took dignity away from the Oval Office, but he still has a support base and if he decides to break away and start his own party, that will probably tear us apart.  He is like a bad drug that we know is not good for us, but we just don’t know how to make him disappear.  It is people like Mitch McConnell who speak out against him one day and the next they turn around and start supporting him again, that are making it so difficult for us to fix anything.  Would you like to have another cup of tea Liz?”

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie First Line Friday hosted by Dylan.

Redneck Spring Mud Twerking Jam

Spring arrived with mud and a torrent of bad news.  Dirt becomes muddy as the snow and ice melts, but this is the perfect time for the Redneck Spring Mud Twerking Jam.  This is a mammoth muddy outdoor dance that starts off with a wet t-shirt contest and everyone is standing around a big pile of mud.  It usually brings in a bunch of old hippies who dove into the Woodstock experience by sliding around naked in the mud for 3 days.  This Jam always has great music and it features dozens of people dancing naked in mud puddles and some half‐naked bodies coated with brown slime that are moving rhythmically to the music.  Professional twerker Jessica Vanessa will be there to give free lessons on how to shake your bootie, but the bad news is that you have to bring your own beer.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie First Line Friday hosted by Dylan.