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5.09.2010

And after the Intermission III

As I'm keeping myself busy I start to feel okay, then less okay, then circular. After a weekend of this circle she calls with the news in Boston. The water is undrinkable, she says. I already know this: the "cuff link" on the pipe has broken and the clean water has spilled into the unswimmable Charles River at 8 million gallons an hour. I wonder how Cathreen knows this. She says, "Don't give to Boise." Our cat cries in the background. I hear they are sending people out on the streets to announce the bad tap water, because if you came home and weren't lonely and always online, how would you know? I hold the phone to Boise's ear and he looks confused. I take showers and watch my skin for a yellow glow. Soon Cathreen calls to tell me the water is okay again.

"How?" I ask.

She says, "I know everything."

I ask her how things are, and when she says they could be better, I ask if she wants to come home. We talk about our two little nephews that are driving her crazy there. She says she went to the fortune teller and I should watch out for stairs and cars. Just for this month and next, she says. Of course I imagine falling down the outside steps into traffic. She says something about babies. She says, "when I come home."

She says she knew about the water because she is always watching. I imagine her searching the internet for the things that are affecting me here.

3 comments:

David Backer said...

Hey Matthew,

I edit fictiondaily.org, an aggregator site for online fiction. We feature three short stories from online magazines every day to present to a wider audience. We found your piece "Our Island of Epidemics" in WordRiot recently and we're going to feature it tomorrow under the "Short" category. Just wanted to let you know.

Thanks!

--David Backer

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