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 Ninety Seven
There is a crossroads not far from my home where much of the city comes and goes, or so it seems, on their way to other places. They do not linger, hurrying on to their destinations for there is little to see. I pass it most days on my way to here or there, hardly giving it a glance or a second thought.
There are two apple trees nearby, in full blossom, where one can find some shade. Dogs will often come to sniff about and mark their territory here, while their owners look on impatiently. This morning as I walked on the opposite side of the crossroads two dogs met there, snapping and snarling, held back and dragged away by their owners.
Later as I returned a dishevelled man with a shopping cart stood under the trees yelling at everyone who passed, incoherent with rage and desperation. He accused us all of committing nefarious crimes.
Though filled with anger his screams were almost mournful, as though he did not expect anyone to actually listen to what he said. And in truth no one did. A few people stepped out of their homes to see what the commotion was and I paused on my way through the crossroads, but none of us gave him more than a glance. Once we saw who it was, a man of the streets, addled by addiction and without hope, we all simply walked on and went about our days.
Eventually a police officer came and talked with the man awhile, listening to his yelling, and talking in quiet tones, urging him to move along. When I passed through the crossroads later, there was no one beneath the apple trees, an absence that felt strangely ominous.