Notes on the Grippe

Day Nine Hundred Eighty Seven

From high above the Quarter appears a gleaming wintry tundra, unbroken but for the river valleys and creek coulees, dark fingers that extend across the land, digging deep. Only from this vantage point does the true emptiness of the Quarter become apparent. A few clustered houses here and there marking towns and in between them vast spaces of white. Even the cities seemed dwarfed by all that land. In other places I have ventured to, cities bump up against other cities, towns litter every byway. One cannot go more than a minute without seeing some evidence of human habitation.

The Quarter, on the other hand, can feel like you have entered a post-apocalyptic world. All the signifiers of our existence are there: the road you are driving upon, the fences strung with wire marking the borders of territories, and the electric lines that must lead to some house, and yet none is visible. Even the cattle that should fill the pastures are not apparent, hidden far from the road by some watering hole. The occasional car appearing in the distance shakes you from your reverie, reminding you that you are not alone in this place. An uncomfortable feeling, as though you have been exposed just by being here, implicated by having come to this lost place.