A small story:

I climbed my usual hill and I listened to a woman talk about dying.

"And this is different than every other day h-"

I didn't say crime.

I said dying.

Specifically, things which are likely to happen before a human dies; thank you, hospice nurse.
If you haven't watched it yet, do so; it's pretty interesting. I would also respectfully suggest it goes very well with a miserably steep climb, where you start looking around for the departed loved ones because there's no way you're living through this.

Shockingly, I lived. I got back home and continued my project of the day.

For the last few weeks, my email has been tetchy. Consort has been doing battle with it and - fingers crossed - they have reached detente but in the process it has been determined I have 12,000 emails.
"Wow," I said, then added, "Wonder if that was part of the problem."

Consort did that thing where he rubs the bridge of his nose, eloquently. It was determined my job was to go through my email and get rid of nearly everything. At first, I was careful, checking each one.
In an hour, I got rid of 150 emails.
My pruning process grew less careful, then less careful still. By the time the email was down to about 6,000 I was doing the deleting version of the Thanos snap.

It's possible I screamed, "YOU DON'T HAVE TO GO HOME BUT YOU CAN'T STAY HERE!" and cackled as I deleted.
"I have the best story about your mo-" I saw just as I was about to permanently delete a few hundred airline deals and @Strategist. I slowed down and checked the email; it was a last name I knew, the daughter of one of my mother's closest friends.

It was two months old.
I texted her and apologized. She was gracious and available to talk and I called her.

Here goes.
Her mother had been in failing health for a while but then took a sudden turn. Hospice care started at home. The last day of her life, her daughter was at her mother's side when her breathing changed.

"This is it," her daughter thought.
She remembered what the hospice nurse had said about how hearing is the last to go and she whispered to her mother, "You can go, your kids are all okay. Dad's been waiting for you for years."
She started to sob.
As she described it to me, the daughter then heard, or felt, something in the room.
Rather, she felt someone.

Two people.

Without even thinking about it, she said to her mother, "Oh, Jan and Pat are here to get you and they have a glass of wine for you."
"I would have recognized your mother," she continued, "But I promise you I wouldn't have remembered Pat's name. It was as though they were telling me their names and that my mom was going to a really good party with her girlfriends."
"And suddenly," she finished, "I wasn't sad any more in the same way. I mean, I was really close to my mom and I cried after she died but in that moment I knew there was something beyond this and she was going to be happy."
"I love," I said, "How, once again, your father was patient."

For all the years I knew Frank, he smiled at his wife's friends and then went to hide in the house while they cackled in the yard. I have no reason to believe eternity would change this.
"Your mom," she said, "Was carrying the wine."

"That was always understood," I said and I smiled because my mother was a complicated person but complicated people deserve to hang out with their friends and because this woman's daughter's grief was eased a bit.
I told her about the hospice story I had just heard, about how a fair percentage of the dying have visitations from those who are already beyond the veil. Sure, not everyone comes back with a buttery Chard but hey, my family is a little witchy.

"You were blessed," I said.
She agreed.

We sat on the phone in silence for a second and then I said, "Because I didn't lose your email, because I happened to hear that story an hour ago, it's going to be my Small Story for today. Someone who desperately needs this is going to read it and feel better."
If that's you, imagine the person you love and lost is at the afternoon backyard party with Jean, Pat and Jan. The wine is flowing, the snacks are from Trader Joe's and the bees are minding their own business.

"Remember," one of them says, "When we were afraid of death?"
And they laugh because they are with their friends and they know so much better now.
And now, THE AD! If you like these Small Stories, can I coax you into helping to support them? I promise to notice when I'm supposed to tell you something that will help.

And now, the other ad!

I have a deal for you on @librofm (libro.fm/redeem/Quinn)

My membership benefits @vromans! Yours could benefit your local indie bookstore! Here are the two bookseller's picks searching the word "Immortal"!


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More from @quinncy

16 Nov
A small story:

A few weeks back I doled out Modest Blessings on here to those Californians who voted against the recall.

"How could you know for certain, Quinn?"

For one, I like to tell myself people who follow me and people who think Larry Elder can govern have no overlap.
For another, while I did have to take it on faith they didn't vote to make everything worse, it became apparent fairly quickly that my subconscious was tapping into something and that something was, and I'm quoting feedback here, "Witchy-accurate."
By the second day of doling out blessings, I was getting comments like, "The light on my dashboard DID, in fact, turn out to be a cheap fix!" or "When I went for a walk today a small friendly cat DID walk and chat with me!"

Lie to that kind of power at your own peril.
Read 17 tweets
15 Nov
"What are you afraid of?"

I squinted at this question on an application. God, I hate this sort of thing, this "Let's get to know the real you" faux-chumminess. Either I'm qualified for something or I'm not.

I'm probably not.

The real me isn't going to change that.
And yet, here we are and here that question is and I frowned. Most of what scares me is, well, most of what's around me and I'm not sure how that makes me seem relatable. Reflexively I glanced around the room, as I always do when searching for writing inspiration and-
"Hello," I said, but softly, so as to not annoy it. I turned back to the keyboard and typed, "I am frightened of our new dining-room chairs; this is a very reasonable thing to fear."

When it comes to design, Consort is fussy and I am indifferent.
Read 23 tweets
8 Nov
A small story:

Consort is sentimental and nostalgic.

I am not.

In fact, if pressed, I would describe myself as "Whatever the furthest point is from nostalgia." I actually hate reminiscing. Until yesterday, I knew this without being able to explain why.
And then, I took a shower.
I have taken showers before.

Several, in fact.

And sometimes when I'm standing there, trying to atone to my body for the Sculpt class I have just taken, I realize something very profound, something obvious, something that it took conditioning my hair for me to see.
Read 12 tweets
6 Nov
@DoodleWrangler Did I ever tell you about the time I quietly avenged your father by ruining a drunk's night?
We knew a couple where Consort was longtime friends with the husband and I usually got stuck with the wife. She was and, I suspect, still is a therapist.

She was also nearly certainly an alcoholic.

Maybe she wasn't.
Maybe it's perfectly normal to not be able to stop after a single drink, maybe all the most abstemious drinkers turn into an utter jackass after downing a bottle pretty much on their own.

Maybe "weekday breakfast wine" is a thing.

Anyway, she was my responsibility.
Read 10 tweets
6 Nov
A small story:

After over a quarter century together, Consort and I know how to argue. In fact, I’m going to say we aren’t bad at it, abiding by the intimate partner version of Marquess of Queensbury rules which is to say, we sue Oscar Wilde.
(We do not sue Oscar Wilde)
We fight reasonably fairly, we rarely drag in any grudge over 120 days old - unless, of course, it shows a pattern of behavior or I feel like it- we even own the irrational stuff by beginning, “This isn’t rational but also, still mad.”
Read 14 tweets
4 Nov
OH MY CARBGODDESS. @VillageBakeryLA Image
Unofficial small story and a request:

Recently, 6 @LAPDHQ officers came in; one wasn’t wearing his mask correctly. One of the young women working asked him politely to fix it. They left, gave them a bad Yelp review.
Aren’t you guys busy doing an actual job?


Of course you are not.

Also, Nick T? Women shudder at your touch. Image
Read 6 tweets

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