The postman said, “You need to sign this delivery ticket” and handed the parcel to Karl.
Karl’s hands trembled as he carried it to his study. The anticipation of the past few weeks was now boiling over. The Isolator was here.
Just before closing his door, Karl hollered “Do not interrupt me upon penalty of restriction. I mean it. The Mayonnaise Jar Rule is in effect.”
The rule decreed that there needed to be at least a jar’s worth of blood before the five children were allowed to interrupt their mother during her afternoon stories. It was the first time Karl had invoked it.
It is cold as shit in here and I have a Calypso earworm in my head. Daylight come and I wanna go home. Like reggae, it’s impossible to be anything but happy when the music is blaring. And blaring it is. I want to go home — home where things are organized and orderly and sane. I am home, but my home is anything but what I need it to be. Still, I’m oddly cheerful.
Greek mythology says Calypso was a nymph who kept Odysseus on her island for seven years promising him immortality, but he preferred to go home instead. I can understand that. I want to go home too, but technically I am home. Home is just not very homey right now.
When I was a teenager, I wanted a magic potion, or cream or salve, that would rid me of acne for all time. As with all good magic potions, it had a dark side in that there would be adverse side effects, but I was willing to live with those. I wanted to be clear of acne. I still do. How can I be 63 and still have acne?
When I was older and began to realize the impact of time passing, I wanted to be able to store memories never to forget them. “I want to always remember this,” I would say. I’ve forgotten so many of those moments, but I remember saying it.
When I was older yet, I wanted a potion to keep my son young and innocent and safe. I still want that potion. Especially as he traverses the horror that life can be when things go awry. I want to wave a magic wand and make it better.