On the phone, at a gas station, in our dreams
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Jacob Aiello can trace his ancestry back to rabbis and horse thieves. His stories and essays have been published in or are forthcoming from The Rupture, Carve Magazine, and Ninth Letter. He lives in Milwaukie, Oregon.
The air is still. The governor is on the radio: “This could be the greatest loss of human lives and property due to wildfire in our state’s history.” I start vacuuming. It’s not until Amy gets home an hour later that we begin to outline what needs to be done: We need cat carriers to transport the cats. We need provisions for the animals. We need our medications. I am demonstrating how much we need our medications.
I take the test, grade myself strictly, and add up the points. The result is that I’m likely an alcoholic and should seek treatment as soon as possible. I take the test again and grade myself more forgivingly, because forgiveness is a virtue.