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Patient Zero (Not Me) - The Conductor's Cabin

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Patient Zero (Not Me)

The Datsun is not even trying to hide itself now. It tails me closely. I am sure the driver reads this blog.

Please, sir, meet me in Cleveland! I’ll sign a book for you! Anything for a sale.

The second Chieko told me, the last time we lay together in bed, that people like us were not safe in America. Honestly, I thought she meant Asians.

Chieko has a mark, too. It’s on the sole of her foot, instead of her hand. I used to love to kiss it.

I think Nakamura had one, too. At least, Chieko did not have it until she spent that month with Nakamura planting persimmon saplings and breaking my heart. I am not a virologist, but I am not stupid, either. Boy-girl-boy…and that girl in Tokyo, on the train, with her blue hair. What of me was left on her when she woke up in the morning?

Perhaps viruses also have myths, origin stories, fell rites and chronicles of heroes. I wonder where we fall in the long history of this strange disease. Are we war heroes, are we serfs, are we gods?

I am obscure. I must be obscure. I am watched, above and below, and if I were to say plainly what I mean, if I were to type into this white page what has happened to me, to us, I think I would meet the driver of that Datsun rather quickly. Yet I cannot stop teasing him—I float close to the limit of what I am allowed to say, I flirt with him, I dare him to silence me. Perhaps I am only bored. Perhaps I have become addicted, like the rest of the world, to the forgiving text box of an update page, the ethereal confessional of this poor blog, which I really do not think is selling any books, with apologies to my publicist.

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