Erin Fitzgerald

Beatrice brought me a postcard of a painting. She said that the illness had to be fought because life is such a mystery, that we'll never know why that woman smiled the way she did and that there was a divinity in that.

I wanted to tell her that made no sense. Wouldn't it be more logical to want to get to the bottom of the mystery by moving on, rather than sitting around ignorant of the answers and treasuring every moment of that ignorance?

She meant well, though. And maybe Beatrice will let me get to the bottom of her mystery soon. So I said thanks and smiled like I was going to think about it. Then after I was sure her car was off the street, I got into mine. Everyone wants to take me places because driving is stressful. I tell them that someone else took me, or will take me, wherever it is that I need to go.

I drove over to the grocery store to look at poison again. The Internet has told me repeatedly that the poison you can buy at the grocery store, whether it's for rats or mice or bathtubs, is a really nasty way to go. The Internet doesn't bring me postcards or insist on driving me to the post office. It tells me that the awareness ribbon for my illness is also used for feral cats and cultural diversity.

The rat poison box I picked up and read the back of, when I've never been able to touch any of the others? Same color. I'm not sure which I noticed first, that or the divinity.

Erin Fitzgerald lives in western Connecticut. She blogs at Rarely LIkeable and edits The Northville Review.

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