I bumped into my old neighbor the other day in a Safeway parking lot. It was quite by accident that I recognized her at all, decked out in a hazmat coat, surgical gloves on her hands, and sporting a tent-sized mask draped over two thirds of her face. Emblazoned on this facial banner was a gasping coiled serpent with the inscription, “Don’t Breathe on Me!” Had she not been unlocking the door of her distinctive ’88 Volvo, so plastered in environmental stickers that the rear end nearly dragged on pavement, I never would have known it was Sally.
“Hello, Sally,” I hollered. “It’s been a long time.”
Her response was somewhat muffled but I could make out something about hiding out in her basement. She appeared nervous that I might approach within an imaginary 12 foot perimeter so I stationed myself a car length away which seemed to relieve her immensely. “So how are Tom and the kids,” I spoke extra loud to bridge the distance.
“I couldn’t actually say,” she retorted. “I had them move into a motel room when school started, out of safety concerns. We do a lot of Face-time. It’s just better that way.” Continue reading