1. Tell me about it
  2. The average human
  3. Oh, no! Not again!


Last Saturday I got into one of those moods again. It wasn’t a deep one this time, but it was enough to make Howard notice even before he had his first cup of low-cal, extra light decaf latte.

“Oh, no, not again,” he muttered. The decaf went back on the shelf with a thump and a K-Cup of extra bold Sumatran landed in the machine instead. Howard knew what was coming.

Now, the average human gets into all kinds of moods, we all know that, and we also know that a familiar person can become pretty darn strange in the midst of some of the. For instance, I’ve learned to watch for the little signs from my sister that tell me we’re in for a display of misplaced enthusiasm that will drive us all nuts for several days. We’ve been aware since the first time she invited twelve homeless folks to come live with us that Georgia is living—usually quite peacefully—on the edge of a cliff and that it takes only a tiny tremor to knock her over. The one good thing is that her enthusiasms, while often untidy, are always based firmly in caring for people. It makes her happy, so we put up with the occasional inconveniences.

My own moods tend to be darker, not quite to the point of mayhem and murder, but certainly less uplifting for my nearest and dearest, who probably wish during those times that they were more distant in every day. Howard, for some unidentifiable reason, usually can bring me back to normalcy. Usually.

“Tell me about it,” he said on Saturday. He knows I can never seem to put my troubles into speech, and it’s a pretty good ploy most of the time. If nothing else, it shuts me up and sends me off to write dark thoughts in my notebook, where mayhem and murder can flourish without consequences.

This time was different, though. The mood he thought was just like all the others felt to me almost like a lifting of spirits instead of the other way around. I felt as light as thistledown floating in breezes no one but me could see. I was a dark spirit, black fluff diluting in daylight until I knew I was invisible to human eyes. Nothing had ever felt like this.

“Tell me,” he repeated, and he touched a shoulder that seemed to belong to someone else.