When Terry Andersen was first told of his disease he didn’t know what to do. How could this happen to him? How could this type of thing even exist? La Mort Douce had a sordid past for sure, but damn, who names a place “The Sweet Death” anyway? Located between Quebec and the States, hardly anyone knew where it was for a few hundred years, allowing countless atrocities to go unnoticed. However, since the 70s, all manner of people had begun to move here. As long as they could afford to. Some Native Americans and Native Canadians returned, most from “The Seven Nations” tribes, including the Iroquois and the Mohawk. “Don’t let that melting pot ideal fool you.” Terry had a professor who once said, “We should stop saying melting pot, because melting pot implies we all ceased being who we were and all became the same; a collective.” She thought we resembled a salad. Well, if this town was a salad, the lettuce ran the show and the rest of us have to be croutons.
Well, now the dark crouton had something he hadn’t even known existed. Something he once thought couldn’t be real, and yet it was. He had IT now. Terry looked into his bathroom mirror. Staring back at him was the early morning malaise that normally overcame him before heading off to work. This morning was different. Terry’s reflection, a dark man in his 40’s with deep dimples, strong cheek bones and what he thought was a friendly face, seemed extremely tense. A woman he dated once told him she thought him to be clean cut and intensely appealing. His eyes however, she said, “Were severely serious.” “Interesting description,” he thought. He wasn’t sure if it was his color or height that caused many at work to call him “Intimidating.” The description felt suspect all the same.
Terry’s thoughts often wandered in strange directions, generally away from what bothered him most, yet his mind eventually came back to it, without fail. He sighed, a single encounter, one bullshit incident and he now had IT; his destiny had been redirected. Terry figured there would be legitimate literature on this, but dammit-to-hell, no medical book he’d picked up covered the combination of symptoms he had: Unexplained lapses in time, increased hunger and metabolism, irritability, high sex drive, unexplained bruises and wounds that healed more quickly than normal. Terry also struggled with being exhausted during the day from bouts of insomnia.
All of these were symptoms recognized by the doctor he’d called on the card that strange visitor gave to him in the hospital. He realized later on that the same number was in newspaper ads he’d seen as well. What was it called again? Globes Disease? Apparently, it was a fluid borne illness passed from carrier to carrier. Shoot, he had tried looking it up with no success. Maybe it was covered under some other subject. Maybe it was biblical, myth or folklore. What little he did know, didn’t make any sense to him.