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 Seven Hundred Sixty Five

A dream, hazy like a fading memory, yet sharp with colour and vivid with a reality that drifts away like fog as you enter it.

A dark corner of a crowded restaurant, the hum of conversations floating all around. Peking duck and rice wrappers. Outside the dusk settles around the plastic red lanterns strung across the street busy with people coming and going, laughing and talking.

An ancient ruin now carefully maintained for tourists to wander about. A forgotten old town wall, swallowed upon amidst later constructions as a city blossomed. A house where a heroic general was born who died in a war over these Dominions.

A wide, muddy river, so deep the current is barely visible. Proud buildings stand on either side, memories of a glorious age long past. The city sprawls outward from either bank, endless, consuming all in its path. The sun finds its way through the clouds again.

Mind the gap between the platform and the train. The doors close and you are left behind. You stop by a pier where a queen once disembarked in triumph only to end in ruin, and take a picture, trying to imagine how all that might have been.

A dozen languages spoken on every street you walk down. People from everywhere, all gathered in this one place that wanders along the banks of the great river. There is always something happening and you wish that the dream wouldn’t stop, but you know eventually you will wake up.

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