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Photo by Jimmy Conover on Unsplash

When I first saw snow, my first thought was, I might be able to talk to my client without screaming in the background. See, now that I am never alone, I look at life through the lens of someone taken hostage in her own home by a riot of pint-sized lunatics. …


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Photo by Cody Black on Unsplash

“You’ve got to be fucking kidding me,” she said out loud to no one. Madeline let the phone drop with a soft thud on the mattress, and the impact made her coffee spill a little. “Serves me right,” she thought. “This whole breakfast in bed thing is supposed to be a treat? There’s nowhere to set anything on, and what I’m left with at the end of the ordeal is a new load of laundry.” She shook her head quickly as if to shoo away the bad thoughts. After all, it was her birthday, her first birthday as a mom. …


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Photo by 傅甬 华 on Unsplash

A fire alarm going off in the middle of the night in a house of thorough sleepers goes like this.

The setting is pristine silence, a puffy and gentle calm enveloping four tired humans and a silly dog that believes she’s a human herself. All five of them are soaking in every ounce of rest in their soft, warm cocoons; crisp white sheets for some, cheerful cartoon characters on well-washed fabric for others. Then a motherfucking beep that is louder than you would consider appropriate. Granted that it’s an alarm, but really, is that necessary? Three long, blaring beeps are followed by a startling robot voice announcing “fire, fire, fire”. …


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Photo by Ben Mullins on Unsplash

“Do you ever wonder how different life would be…,” he pauses for effect, searching my eyes, “… if we all had tails?”

“I really wonder about you sometimes,” is my absent-minded response, but he doesn’t hear me, as he’s already launched on a soliloquy about how most other animals have tails in some shape or form, and aren’t they useful?

He started 7th grade remotely last Thursday. His brother started 4th grade in the next room. Rather than backpacks, this year the object of everyone’s attention, the identity token that quickly gives classmates a glimpse about who you truly are, is the headphones that they all sport on their heads during each and every lesson. Just like with backpacks, there is an endless array of subtleties and price ranges to be confronted with. I chose the younger one’s more carefully, deciding on a decent pair with a volume limit clocking at 91 decibels, always mindful of his progressive hearing loss. …


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Photo by Natalia Łyczko on Unsplash

At first, I laughed it off. I opened the junk drawer, scanned the menagerie of debris that lives in there, and registered that the mailbox keys really weren’t there. Huh, where did they go? They’re always reliably in the drawer, tangled with the rubber bands and spare hearing aid batteries and likely-dried-up pens and many pairs of scissors of various sizes. It hit me at that point that perhaps that wasn’t such a great place to house the mailbox keys, but how do you change a habit so ingrained? It’s not like they could go in the silverware drawer, or on the bookshelf, or in the fruit bowl. …


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Photo by Allie on Unsplash

I should have taken it as an omen that the moment I first set foot on this country, in the summer of 1998, my name got sweetly and swiftly butchered. I had never given my name much thought, as it came with the territory of my family’s heritage. See, my grandpa and I did some research one lazy summer and certified that for at least the last couple hundred years, pretty much everyone in my family was born in this one rural province in Spain. …


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Photo by Celeste Horrocks on Unsplash

Time is a series of wormholes now, arranged as if an engineer at Six Flags had been giving a blank check and complete freedom to go fully nuts. The structure that guides our days is gone, no matter how old you are, or who you vote for. Without a place to go and a boss or a teacher to keep us accountable, some standards have swiftly made a beeline for the window. My older one’s hair looks as if a young pair of robins decided to settle their nest there. The younger one questions why he still has to brush his teeth. I have worn sweatpants over the last two months with the earnestness of a yoga instructor, but without her inclination for exercise. So structure has vanished and time is out of whack, but what we’re left with is what we’re most familiar with, and often tend to take for granted. Our homes. Our families. …


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Photo by Katrina Knapp on Unsplash

I always found the word choices very peculiar. Baseball. Popcorn. Ice cream. The audiologist seemed to be painting a picture of a perfect summer afternoon, as she spoke the words into the microphone with crisp quality, adjusting dials and switches as she went. Hot dog, airplane, cowboy, cupcake. The picture was becoming more surreal as she went, what with the cowboy making an appearance again, hadn’t she just said cowboy just a minute ago? Perhaps Jenny was imagining things, a nervous wreck as she was, looking at her beaming boy in that soundproof box with a door and a window. She had been inside that box many times when he was too young to sit still in there by himself; she had sat there with him snug on her lap, cords dangling from his ears, and a sweet smile always on his face. …


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Photo by Daniel Tuttle on Unsplash

We are now finally settling into a sort of rhythm, a somewhat orderly routine. I’m not asking for a medal, it’s been seven weeks after all, or is it eight? Time is a stretched-out fog these days, in this pandemic-induced Groundhog Day state of mind. Tuesday meshes with Thursday, which apparently seems to come after Friday now.

We’re becoming accustomed to this new defiance from time itself, this being tricked every time we think we got our act together. “Why, you’re getting ready for your Tuesday morning meeting with your client? That was yesterday, you poor thing. …


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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

The quaint old monsters under the bed are gone, but there’s a whole new host of worries keeping this child up at night, and me with him. Hurricanes were a hot issue back in September, when he developed a sudden interest in the welfare of the citizens of the Bahamas, diligently tracking Dorian’s progress every day as soon as he got back home from school.

The fire alarm makes an appearance every now and then, ever since that dizzy night right after we moved when it decided to go off at 3 am for no apparent reason. In my motherly quest to soothe and find rational explanations to everything, I told him that perhaps a little spider had wandered into one of the alarms and set it off, so now we also have strong concerns every so often about the presence of spiders and whether they will feel like dropping by the fire alarm tonight. …

About

Teresa Lagerman

Hudson Valley // Musing about donuts 60% of the time

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