Bad Charlotte or, When Do I Get My Superpowers?

Dearest Rachel – I’m not entirely sure when it started; I’m thinking it was early this past week, either Monday or Tuesday. It might have been earlier, too – I just don’t remember. Whenever it was, I assumed it was just a mosquito bite on my thumb, right alongside of my knuckle. Nothing particularly unusualContinue reading “Bad Charlotte or, When Do I Get My Superpowers?”

Under the Weather

Dearest Rachel – It would seem that, somewhere along the way, Daniel has caught a cold. Neither of us knows from where, but it’s not an altogether unexpected situation; for all our love for the milder climate of spring and fall in comparison to the more extreme summer and winter May and November have neverContinue reading “Under the Weather”

Have You Seen Him?

Dearest Rachel – You probably remember how, with every year end, I would make a habit of picking up the year-end wrapup from Life magazine (and later, after that one folded, Time magazine), covering ‘the year in pictures.’ Some of them may have been thrown out in the course of the purge, but I thinkContinue reading “Have You Seen Him?”

An Approach to Stress

Dearest Rachel – After a dream in which I’d had a near screaming match provoked by Mohinder for – as far as I could tell – absolutely no reason (which, as bad as he could be, never happened in real life, thankfully), I woke up glad to be where I was, but knowing this wasContinue reading “An Approach to Stress”

A Strange Slow Morning

Dearest Rachel – Well, it so happened that my concerns about the end of silence were a little bit premature. I’ve been slow-walking the day, since I’ve nowhere to go, and nothing to do until my doctor’s appointment just before noon. Daniel’s been asleep the whole time, despite my rattling about in the kitchen, polishingContinue reading “A Strange Slow Morning”

Room for Emergencies

Dearest Rachel – It isn’t as if I write these letters as a call for help; I’m just telling you exactly what it is I’m dealing with (with a few names changed for security’s sake). Still, every so often these things happen. I’ve heard of folks being diagnosed with rare diseases due to an eagle-eyedContinue reading “Room for Emergencies”

How Close the End?

Dearest Rachel – It is taken as axiomatic truth that, from the moment we’re born, we begin to die. Indeed, there are times we can sense it through our own aches and pains. If we’re lucky, we begin with all of our cells holding perfect copies of our DNA (and even that isn’t guaranteed –Continue reading “How Close the End?”

More Sabbath than I’d Intended

Dearest Rachel – Considering I’ve been silent since the first thing this morning, you would think that nothing happened all day. And to a certain extent, you wouldn’t be that far wrong. At the same time, there’s a sort of thought that’s what we’ve been asked to do, to take some time and rest. ThatContinue reading “More Sabbath than I’d Intended”

Where’s the Lavender Soap?

Dearest Rachel – I’ve been told that the above expression, when mouthed, is indistinguishable from the phrase “where there’s life, there’s hope.” Beyond that, the title is only meaningful only insofar as its misreading. After venting my frustrations about what Daniel was or was not doing for himself in my absence, I think I managedContinue reading “Where’s the Lavender Soap?”

His Lifeline

Dearest Rachel – When I left on my trip nearly two weeks ago (has it only been that long? It seems like it’s been ages), I felt bad about leaving Daniel behind. But I’ve told you about his opinions toward the various Covid protocols, and that he wouldn’t be allowed into the airport with hisContinue reading “His Lifeline”

Still A Long Way From Hope

Dearest Rachel – I mentioned how earlier today things were beginning to look up. The Basel-Stadt Health Department have laid out a timetable for me to be able to leave my room sooner than I’d hoped or expected, and just an hour or so ago, I’d received a testing vial from the good folks atContinue reading “Still A Long Way From Hope”

Three Hundred Days

Dearest Rachel – Upon sending you my last letter, about the man yelling at the intercom outside the police headquarters, I received a ping from the WordPress application. In some ways it wasn’t much different from those that I get every day, complete with the standard ‘keep up the good work’ encouragement. But today wasContinue reading “Three Hundred Days”

Adapting

Dearest Rachel – No, I’m not talking about that EU-to-US plug thingamajig that got half-fried (and fried my surge protector in turn) by the desk-based plug. I’m talking about adjusting to life in stir, especially when you’d been expecting to travel abroad and see the sights. As I’ve said a number of times already, IContinue reading “Adapting”

A Traveler’s Nightmare, An Introvert’s Dream

Dearest Rachel – Morning in Basel, and as it would happen, my window is faced to receive the sun. And the sun, for once, is more than happy to come in. it’s a bright and cheery morning. Were I in worse straits, I might think it was mocking me. As it is, I am willingContinue reading “A Traveler’s Nightmare, An Introvert’s Dream”

A Very Different Travelogue

Dearest Rachel – When Alton Brown started his ‘Quarantine Qitchen’ online streaming program with his wife Elizabeth about a year and a half ago, you were tuning in every Tuesday to watch, and occasionally comment, as they tried to assemble dinner and drinks together, squabbling as (apparently?) married couples do. You seemed to find itContinue reading “A Very Different Travelogue”

What Tomorrow May Bring

Dearest Rachel – It’s been an eventful day. Every time the phone rings, every time there’s a knock on the door, I expect this to be the moment when I’m escorted off the ship. The last knock turned out to be one with my lunch. So I’m sitting here eating it, knowing I’ll have atContinue reading “What Tomorrow May Bring”

Lessons From Tippecanoe

Dearest Rachel – I woke up at what I thought was the morning (actually, it turned out to be eleven something at night here, meaning it was barely four in the afternoon back home) thinking about President William Henry Harrison. I know that sounds silly – and there’s a ridiculous amount of silly to wadeContinue reading “Lessons From Tippecanoe”

Knocking About the City

Dearest Rachel – I had every intention of knocking about the city this afternoon; it’s part of the reason why I arrived early enough to stay the night. I want to look around town, see what Basel has to offer. But with this head cold that I’m dealing with, I feel like I could justContinue reading “Knocking About the City”

An Extra Level of Difficulty

Dearest Rachel – Well, it took a couple of shots of Nyquil to do it (one at nine-thirty when I went to bed, and again at about three-thirty with a sinus cavity that had been filled with rubber cement), but I managed to get at least ten hours of sleep last night. And while I’mContinue reading “An Extra Level of Difficulty”

They Can’t All Be Gems

Dearest Rachel – I know I have permission to skip a day or two now and again, but that wasn’t how life was like when you were still here. There was rarely a day that went by that we didn’t talk to each other. I mean, there were occasions when you were out of town,Continue reading “They Can’t All Be Gems”

The Fear of False Positives

Dearest Rachel – I mentioned to you in a few other earlier letters about how I’m trying not to get too excited about my upcoming trip. For one, although it takes me to a lot of places I’ve never been to, I’m doing this completely on my own, and I can’t say I’m really lookingContinue reading “The Fear of False Positives”

Settling For Less

Dearest Rachel – So, last night, the girls came over – probably for the last time for the next month. Since I had fixed a meal last time (well, sort of; I’d heated up a bunch of stuff that I’d gotten from Costco and whatever), I suggested that once we were assembled at the house,Continue reading “Settling For Less”

Gotta Go Slower

Dearest Rachel – It’s been about a week and a half since the last time I walked to the office. Most of last week, of course, has been because Kevin has been over, but it isn’t as if I walk every day when I actually cross town, either. Yesterday, I was concerned about the threatContinue reading “Gotta Go Slower”

Sirius Declining

Dearest Rachel – Lately, whenever I take Chompers out for his last pee of the night, I find myself looking up at the sky. Down Wilke Road, to the south, hangs one star that shines brighter than all the others: Sirius. The dog star. It’s the star that gives ‘the dog days of August’ theirContinue reading “Sirius Declining”

Sudden Drop

Dearest Rachel – Under circumstances that seemed less dire, I’d probably be soundtracking this letter with Citizen King’s “I’ve Seen Better Days,” because the bottom seems to have dropped out all of a sudden. But – since the bottom has seemed to have dropped out all of a sudden – I wonder if that wouldn’tContinue reading “Sudden Drop”

The Need for More Patience

Dearest Rachel – I really didn’t want to write this letter to you. This feels like airing my dirty laundry – and yes, it’s more “my” than “our,” because it’s gotten considerably worse since you left, and the fact that I don’t know how to deal with it has probably only exacerbated things. But today,Continue reading “The Need for More Patience”

We Are All Hikikomori… Again

Dearest Rachel – We acknowledged it between the two of us, but rarely spoke of it outside of the home. The convocation when he first enrolled at Judson spoke of their mascot, the eagle, and how the adults made their nest less and less comfortable over time, so as to encourage their eaglets, as theyContinue reading “We Are All Hikikomori… Again”

Going Sideways

Dearest Rachel – I have a feeling that the old boy is starting to lose it. Just this past Monday, I brought him inside from his morning constitutional, set him down on his blanket, got him his water, and set to preparing his food. When I finished with it, I placed it down on theContinue reading “Going Sideways”

Belt Tightening

Dearest Rachel – It’s not something I really feel like checking very often. Mostly because, like most people, I’m not sure I’d like what I find out. But I know where I was barely 6 months ago, and I know things have improved since then. So the question is, by how much? So, for theContinue reading “Belt Tightening”

Powders and Pills

Dearest Rachel – I say this a lot these days, especially in these letters to you, but today I’m doing something I really never expected I would need to do. I’m picking up more medicine for Chompers. Granted, it’s not a prescription medicine or anything like that. Just some powdered distilled from cranberries in orderContinue reading “Powders and Pills”

Once More, With Feeling

Dearest Rachel – “This had better be some roller coaster.” Yeah, the line was that much longer today than the first time. I’m not sure why. To be honest, I thought I’d heard that doses were starting to go begging at this point. Although, to be fair, it has been quite the roller coaster, thisContinue reading “Once More, With Feeling”

Errands

Dearest Rachel – The woods are lovely, dark and deep,But I have promises to keep,And miles to go before I sleep,And miles to go before I sleep. Robert Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening And I’m not even thinking about the training for the Marathon (or, barring actually committing to it, the continuedContinue reading “Errands”

Is This A Feature?

Dearest Rachel – You might recall a cartoon by the man I would refer to as “Uncle Gary” (since we shared the same last name, right down to the spelling with an “o” rather than an “e”): So, just a few minutes ago, at about one in the morning, I rolled out of my sickbedContinue reading “Is This A Feature?”

Paranoia Over the Perfectly Normal

Dearest Rachel – So last night, I could feel the beginnings of a raw throat as I prepared for bed. And sure enough, this morning I woke up with a cough, sneezing and a runny nose. In a normal year, we would know that this would be the beginning of a garden variety 24-48 hourContinue reading “Paranoia Over the Perfectly Normal”

Antici…

“Say it! Say it!” “Nope. Not gonna do it.” “…it’s for the kids.” “…ohhh, all right. But they better not laugh!” “Oh-okay. Here we go, then!” Dearest Rachel – Jan and I were busy pulling out cans and bottles from the cabinet in the utility room when the phone rang. Haven’t used the phone inContinue reading “Antici…”