Dangerous Times, Desperate Measures

Yesterday everything was perfect.Sunny Day

Today  I woke up to an outlandish scenario. There are no words to describe what I saw when I opened my eyes. I am still shaking at the vivid memory…

Something warm, and yellow-orangey in color viciously touched my skin. I can barely talk about it; you will forgive me if I skip to a few hours later, when I had to leave the house to drive my kid to school. I couldn’t let him, my precious little boy, take the school bus. What if the driver went crazy? On the road, we witnessed the first signs that the illness had already touched several minds. People were shielding their eyes, and changing lanes without even noticing it. Driving back was even more dangerous. I barely made it home.

Now, my kids and I are barricaded in the basement, safely surrounded by the familiar humid darkness. Two hours ago, I last heard from my husband. He was stuck in his office, watching horrified as hordes of people wandered at street level. He told me about the vacant eyes, and the addled expressions…

My daughter has found an old battered radio. A confused voice is giving suggestions on what to do until this inexplicable phenomenon lasts. I shiver. The voice says that it will continue until Sunday. I cry.

From outside I can hear little kids, lost to the world, enslaved by this madness the voice on the radio called…  the Sun.

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Dangerous Times, Desperate Measures

Where Were We?

Right. I was mapping the various degrees of ECRS. I already talked at length about the Omnivorous Serial (O.S.). Now let’s confront a more serious and socially destabilizing form of ECRS: the Library Hater (L.H.). The L.H. is a procrastinator, and doesn’t seem to realize that checking out thirty books at the same time is conducive to massive heartburn and sleepless nights. The L.H starts reading the book he/she thinks is the less appealing, reserving the favorite authors for last. (The same way you, gentle reader from Rome, leave the top of the rosetta *bread for the last bite. The examples vary accordingly to regions, states, and whole countries. Today I felt nostalgic. And I have always been partial to a freshly baked rosetta with mortadella.) Woolgathering aside and coming back to more serious thoughts, what happens next to the naïve reader is that (few weeks after in real life, but just seconds for the L.H.) the Public Library sends a courtesy mail asking for the books back. The procrastinator waits until the eleventh hour, and few minutes after that, to renew the lease of the books, and discovers (dramatic music playing) that it isn’t possible. Someone else has requested the same books (how did they dare!—Eddie Izzard’s voice in the background) and therefore the L.H must release them. Several things occur at once: the L.H curses the Public Library and its unfair policies. He/she tries to read as many pages as possible to reach the end of the chapter. Then the L.H. has a sudden and violent bout of Tourette (due to the realization that the story that has sucked big time until three pages ago has finally become interesting). The L.H. tries a last desperate effort to check if pressing again the renew button of the Public Library’s web site will change the status of the books. No. It doesn’t. Finally the L.H put the books inside several plastic bags (normally it rains outside and the books could get all mushy and sad) and drives to the place where he/she normally gets his/her fix (the same Public Library that has been smitten to crumbles few minutes before). The ordeal is repeated in the same order as soon as the Public Library’s website acknowledges that it has received the books, and the L.H requests the same titles again. The moral of the story is that the L.H. never reads the novels he/she really wanted to read in the first place, since they are always buried under a whole stack of other books.  You know what they say about the definition of madness…

*Typical Roman bread looking more like a turtle than a  rose. Deliciously hollow inside. Fill it as your heart desires.

Where Were We?