After three hours of driving on the snaking mountain highways–away from the responsibilities and expectations and noise that crowded life on the plains in the city–the air became thinner, cleaner, and clearer.
The final length tested the limits of the town car; roads were pockmarked with the scars of winters past; slopes were steeper and longer than seemed reasonable; towns were gone in the blink of an eye. Continue reading #WhimWord: Glow
Recognizing Anachoristic Identity Confusion (AIC): A Case Study by Dr. Fisch
Patients with AIC often present a pervasive indifference to life making it difficult to differentiate from other depressive disorders. Since AIC is unrelated to hormone levels, prescribing anti-depressants does not relieve the symptoms, and frequently exacerbates them.
To accurately diagnose AIC, patients should be interviewed extensively about their emotional responses to different aspects of their life in order to determine the root of a patients depressive moods.
AIC most commonly presents in patients who have been stationary their entire life.
Case Study: M. Tilney Continue reading #WhimWord: Anachorism
Marching Orders for CHIRM
Mission Class: H – F.C.R.
Littleton Colorado, Annual Summer Festival of the Arts, 16 September 1997, 13:28
Subject: 2′ 9” Female, curly reddish hair, flowered shirt, affinity for pinwheels.
No wings or halos–that’s C and above stuff. That day it got sneakers, jeans, and a t-shirt–much more comfortable for observing. Continue reading #WhimWord: Bustle
In a world of modesty, she had the upper hand. Other girls had to hide their best assets, smothering curves and covering skin, counting on a dowry or demure smile to ensure their future. Not her.
Despite a comely complexion, she drew the attention of all the eligible (and ineligible) men. Using a fan attracted unabashed stares, removing gloves brought the minister to distraction, and doing needlework out of doors could cause carriage accidents.
In a few decades, the tables would turn, but for now, the best inheritance a young lady could wish for was delicate smooth hands.
“Get that finance report to me by the end of the day, bud.”
At the office working my adult five-to-nine job, wearing uncomfortable adult clothes, and, suddenly, I was seven again.
I was seven again. In my room, wearing my favorite Spider-Man pajamas, pulling the rocket-ship blankets up to my face, and the lightening was crashing outside, and I swear, I swear, the shadows on the walls cackled as the trees shook in the wind, and just as a scream started to form in my throat—the hallway light and the door and a reassuring question: “You okay, bud?”
Her: I forgot my freaking sunglasses. I won’t even be able to enjoy the match without squinting the entire time. I told Cal I didn’t need to go out. Oh great, small talk. Just breathe, smile, and survive the date. Oh, it’s a great game! Such fun!
Him: I can’t believe I let Cal talk me into this. I don’t even like soccer. She is gorgeous and intelligent and out of my league. Alright, try some conversation: Having a good time? Eye contact—good. Smile—good. Her eyes! They squinted! Genuine smile! Maybe not so impossible after all.
Hiking was a bad idea, his calves screamed. When he said he liked adventures, he meant cyberspace ones, or at least ones that didn’t require rising before the sun.
She wasn’t even panting.
He would have relished the view of her petite frame climbing ahead of him, but survival preoccupied his mind.
At the top, the view stopped his breath: the newly risen sun bathed the valley orange, highlighting her blue eyes.
“Absolutely. It’s a volcano, right?”
“Not quite—caldera’s the technical term.”
Of course, she’s a know it all too, and the sun slipped behind the clouds.
She missed the turn onto her street. It was understandable; not only was the street sign gone, but so was the house with the ghost in the attic and the convenience store where soda was only eighty-five cents and the tree she fell out of, breaking a tooth—all gone.
Standing where her mailbox should have been, she broke. In the street where she had learned to ride a bike—now filled with sludge and debris, reduced to a fourteen foot wide gutter—she couldn’t see stars. The storm clouds weren’t gone and the tears wouldn’t stop.
The fumes didn’t stop him, nor did the dim lighting or throbbing music or sweaty bodies swaying and twitching. Guided by familiarity and purpose, he found the bathroom in the back of the house, where the music could be felt more than it could be heard. Crumpled on the floor, phone in hand, was his little brother.
Not little anymore, in age or experience.
A splash of water revived him enough to stand, to hobble, with some help. No words, no apologies, no forgiveness—unnecessary. Just back through the crowd, the music, and out of the fumes.