When a co-worker was hospitalized for meningitis one Monday, the office sucked in a collective breath. As the director of the local health department gave out information that same afternoon, I coughed. Bad cold. Eyes darted my way.
Quarantined me likes the silence the remainder of the week.
Only feeling slightly better by that Wednesday night, I travel to Atlanta to attend the sushi party of a close friend. She was adament I go despite my illness. She has me choose the music. My stuffy head and cough fits seemed to be put at bay as charming women filled her candlelit house.
At one point I offer my meningitis tale and realize mid-regale that at that moment I felt genuinely comfortable with these fellow party attendees. Part of the group. This is not usual.
This is more rare than meningitis taking a holiday in Fiji and sending me a postcard.
“It’s lovely here. Wish you could be my host at the island bonfire tonight. Lots of love, ’Gitis.”
But I would be the first to leave. The stars, clear white sapphires, gleamed with all their potent star sinew as I drove home. The moon wasn’t full but I knew it was still keeping the tides in check. And me.
An eventuality most feared— death— it looks so acceptable in the face of the moon on such a night. It is a hush, a blink- we think it is loud but death is immune to the Doppler effect.
“Death is a beautiful car parked only
to be stolen on a street lined with trees
whose branches are like the intestines
of an emerald.”
I was glad I went to the party. I needed to be touched without physical touch.