But First an Update on the Status of Ms. Allison’s Serenity by Her Employer
Denise organized the chairs in a circle, each no more than six inches apart. She sorted the donuts on the tray so each had its own space, none touching. The coffee was positioned to allow for steady traffic and conversation.
Denise smiled and watched each person enter the room, grab donuts, gulp coffee, and slid chairs out of position. She stayed silent, reminding herself this was part of the healing process.
Dr. Simmons studies the results of our daughter’s blood tests. “Mr. and Mrs. Jacobsen, I’ll get right to it.” Glenna leans forward. I try to squint away the words I don’t want to hear. “Your daughter has Byrd’s Syndrome.”
The weight of his diagnosis lands on my chest. My wife gasps.
I was too young to remember the day my Granddad past away but the night my Gran died, the swans came.
I don’t mean that she had anything to do with them, it was just that I noticed them that night.
I had trouble sleeping through the night in high school: insomnia. But I hated the label.
It is a stupid and hateful prejudice that words are truth-bearers. I remember those torturous dark nights spent shifting beneath my blankets: the desperation of those countless hours I spent tossing and turning. I felt like I was lost in a thick mist. I tried everything: supplements, meditation, exercises. But nothing brought me any nearer that gentle foretaste of death. Insomnia: what nerve it must take to reduce it all to four digestible syllables.
Jane couldn’t keep her clothes on.
She’d been arrested a few times on public decency charges but when the authorities witnessed her prison togs repelling themselves from her, the charges were dropped.
She was referred to experts on everything but there were no experts on spontaneous clothing removal by the clothing itself.
The forest of the gods of torn jaws? Sure, I know it. And it’s pretty easy to get to — once you’re out of Bismarck here, jump on the I-94 and head west. Drive to the sun.