Acupuncture After The Apocalypse

A Nutty One-Armed Aunt

You had a nutty, one-armed aunt, did you know that? She was my daughter-in-law, though older than I. She thought I was a gold-digger who was after your father for his money. She used to tell me this while threatening me with a knife.

Your kindly half-brother, Mason, was a gem of a guy. (I hope he still is, but haven’t heard from him. In this era, you always fear the worst—hence, past tense.) Yet good as Mason was, he became a magnet for this woman with a borderline personality disorder. Back in the days before the word “stalker” was used as lightly and commonly as it is now, this girl, Lisa, actually was one.

So I’ve known crazed women. The question is, has something of them rubbed off on me? I haven’t always been like this, have I? And how will I stop myself from whatever happens next?

Jill Riddell is a writer in Chicago. She teaches at the School of the Art Institute and has a weakness for nature, magic, and pennies abandoned in sidewalk cracks.