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 Two Hundred Forty Two

A warm November day, a rare thing this late in the month. My love and I decide to take the air after our work is done. We walk west along the streets into the setting sun, avoiding our usual routes that take us by the river. Instead we return to the neighbourhood where we both lived some years ago.

In fact, it is the neighbourhood we were both living in when we first met and started dating. We stood again at the corner across from my apartment where my love tried and failed to avoid my parents, visiting from the Lost Quarter, and I as we returned from supper one summer evening not long after we had started dating. And we followed the path between our two apartments, only a half dozen blocks separating us, that we both traversed so often those first months before we decided to save some steps and move in together.

 It is a welcome distraction from all our current worries to let our feet return us to those days. On our walk home we take a different route down a busy street filled with restaurants, cafes and bars. My love points out ones recently opened that she would like to try. An Eritrean place, fish and chips, and Jamaican. There are a disturbing number of darkened windows and for lease signs on buildings. The economy was struggling before the grippe reborn arrived and the dread lord’s arrival has clearly made things worse.

A small bit of good news is the sight of a white bearded man leaning on crutches. Even at that distance and in the growing darkness he is immediately recognizable. He has a new jacket and toque, and his beard was recently trimmed, but otherwise he appears unchanged. It is a welcome sight to know that he is still with us despite all the hardships of this year. He has seen worse, I suspect, and come through and the thought of another winter, even a winter in the shadow of the dread lord, will not daunt him.

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