The Better Alternative

She started skipping her meetings, staying home with her face glued to Fox News.

Normally she don’t watch the news except Hannity. Mostly it’s reality TV, game shows, and the occasional 90s comedy.

I started paying attention, using  my laptop to double-check the sources.

As the days ticked by and things started closing down, I knew total lockdown was just a matter of time.

I’d seen movies about this sort of thing, zombie films and the like, but now it was real.

I looked around at her cramped mobile home and thought no fucking way. 

I packed my musette with a change of clothes, my knife and fishing line, my poncho.

I’d been through it before, the summer I was homeless.

I knew I could do it.

I slipped out.

“You going out, pick me up a couple cartons of Newport,” was the last thing I heard her say.


What Pegman Saw: Silver Bay Minnesota


inlinkz frog

With the curtain of pandemic encircling our planet like a coming winter, it is easy to be filled with dread for what is to come. 

Take heart  in the resilience of human beings, and how kindness and love will often be the response to emergency. We’ll get through this. 

I hope that all of my friends who have participated in Pegman will stay safe and healthy, and that their loved ones will be with them.

Have faith, be safe, and take care of each other. -JHC


Add Yours
  1. pennygadd51

    Great story, Josh. Exactly how some people would behave. Insofar as I can tell, you’ve got the voice spot-on; I can hear the man’s drawl, rough with tobacco smoke and whisky. One of your best!

  2. Lynn Love

    As Penny say, Josh – beautifully written. That voice is spot on and the sentiment too – some would find it easier to be alone than with company. Yes, the times are grim and growing increasingly so. Thanks for the good wishes – a lovely sentiment – and the same to you and yours. Stay well.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks, Lynn. I am lucky to have a great home and wonderful people, so even an extended quarantine is more of a treat than a burden. This was fun to write.

    • Anonymous

      I assume she’ll be mad as hell when she runs out of smokes. It’s people like this who worry me the most. I see a lot of them in AA. They stop going to meetings, and before long they’re back at it. Ancillary casualties of an already deadly situation. Thanks for coming by, and stay well.

Don't just stand there.