It is half past six in the morning. I have been up for a while and am about to start work. I hope what I am working on comes together and it gets completed today--this morning--but even if that is the case there will be nothing I can do with it right now as things stand. I just read a string of Tweets by Katy Berteau, who was the fiancé of Edward Ashcoff. An awful awful awful awful awful story. Ashcoff was an ESPN reporter who died from pneumonia on Christmas Eve, which was his thirty-fourth birthday. The strength it took to write those Tweets and the manner in which she wrote them...I am alone, but if I had loved ones, I would pull them very tight to me after reading that, and someday, if I am not alone, if I am with a person I love very much, I will remember something like this and pull her very tight to me. Berteau wrote about how Ashcoff loved Christmas, and on his last day of consciousness he was making phone calls to her friend to make sure her presents were wrapped. I mean, Jesus Christ.
Pneumonia is becoming more devastating as it combines more virulent flu strands, and can be resistant to antibiotics. The sickest I have ever been in my life, by far, was in the late summer of 2016 when I had pneumonia. My temperature was at 105 degrees, and the migraines I had were worse than those i had as a child, when my headaches could last for days and I could not leave bed and tests had to be done to see if I had brain tumors. I had given up drinking that spring and was in the best shape I had been in in a while, doing my climbs and everything. And if I was not strong as an ox at that point, I don't know what would have happened. I'd be so cold one minute, my teeth pounding against each other, unable to get warm, and then briefly after I would have to go sit in the basement, because sweat was literally flowing off of me, making huge puddles on the ground. I went to the hospital twice. If you know me, you know that I don't get sick, that someone else's flu means for me a few more Monument climbs to drive sickness from my system. So what this man went through and what his loved ones are now going through is just...you can't even really say anything.
I read this other story about a mom, age forty, and her two little kids, who died at a parking garage near the MFA on Christmas morning. She threw each of them off of the top, then jumped herself. For all I know, it might have been the same parking garage that the kid from Boston College jumped from after all of the texts from his girlfriend who is now being persecuted for murder. This world, man.
Going to write now.