Notes on the Grippe

Being an accounting of the recent and continuing pandemic and its various circumstances, from the perspective of an inhabitant of the regions lately called the Lost Quarter. Dates unknown.

Day Eleven

I keep looking to the sky for the storm clouds I know are coming, building somewhere beyond the horizon. All I see above me is a glorious blue, the sun bright and warm as an embrace, especially after a cold winter. It is no comfort though, more like a lie, because I know it cannot last. What arrives when it is gone is still unknown, but it is hard not to fear the worst.

I recall my childhood, waiting for the bus one morning to take me to school. It was in the depths of winter and the day was so frigid my breath seemed to go still in the air when I breathed out. There was a storm coming that day as well. We knew that it was fast approaching, though I can’t recall how we came by that knowledge.

My mother called me inside and said I wouldn’t be going to school if the storm reached us before the school bus, and so I pressed my face to the glass, looking to the north, waiting and hoping. There was a rise to the north of our home so I couldn’t see far into the distance, but I watched that line on the horizon wondering which would crest the hill first.

The blizzard arrived first, a swirling wall of white that swallowed the road, the sky, everything. It was there atop the rise for a moment that seemed to linger, so much so that I had the sense that some force was holding the storm winds back, waiting for the right moment to unleash their fury. I expected to watch the storm’s descent down the rise as it made its inexorable conquest of our lands, the wall advancing steadily toward us. But an instant later it was at my house, the winds shaking its frame, the snow flying so thick that I couldn’t even see the trees in the yard.

As I stared at the whirling snow, which seemed to coming from every direction, the yellow of the school bus became visible, rolling down our driveway as if the storm itself had carried it to me.

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