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“Since the influenza broke out here there has been quite an epidemic and lots of people are dying,” the letter reads:

There is not so much difference between the death rate in France and right here in this camp. Every few minutes an orderly comes in here with a death report and a couple more go down the street with a soldier who has cashed in and probably his feet will be sticking out. …

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Today, for the second time this week, my wife and I vacuumed the walls of our bedroom. What else is there to do? Since the lockdown started, we’ve power-washed and stained our deck. We rearranged the salad dressing shelf of our refrigerator. We’ve watched Netflix — all of Netflix. She’s finished 11 puzzles, and counting. My most exciting update these days is monitoring how fast the compost pits in our garden digest our vegetable scraps.

We’re so ahead at work that we ask for more work. We don’t really “hang out” anymore. We’ve reached the point where we just sit in silence, lately while listening to podcasts that report how the US is writhing through rates of new coronavirus cases at a clip of (oh, give or take) 50,000 a day. The bodies of US Americans who have died from COVID-19 have reached 155,000. Yet young US Americans are flocking outside to bars or barbecues, to water-tube on lazy rivers, to enjoy their summer at the expense of everyone else’s health. …

A memoir of a friend’s struggle with heroin.

“Where you all from?” Euan said to the three men sitting at the bar.

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Images courtesy of the family of Euan Watson.

“Lexington,” one of them said. “Spitting distance.”

“Get you anything?”

“How’s the bourbon?”

Euan grinned. “Worth a shot.”

This was the first night I bartended at Bistro 301 downtown on Third and Market — or at any restaurant — and I was shadowing Euan Watson, the bar manager. Pretty soon the three men figured out that it was my first night, and the one who seemed the most buzzed kept saying, “How about let the new guy do something? …


Charles Wolford

Copywriter and content creator based in Louisville, Kentucky.

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