Acupuncture After The Apocalypse

Painted An Inconspicuous Hue

“That’s it. His campaign headquarters.” Beefcake and I are incognito, sitting in one of my less showy cars, a Lincoln Navigator painted an inconspicuous hue somewhere between charcoal and black. It has tinted windows everywhere, so there’s no way for Beefcake’s opponent or anyone from his campaign office to know Beefcake is in here watching their comings and goings.

His opponents’ headquarters are in the charming portion of a North Shore suburb where I live. My town, except for the area where I live, has become more desolate. But the shops here still look open and well kept up. The North Shore is just like that—protected from everything.

“I want one of those.” Beefcake looks hungrily as he takes in the other candidate’s storefront.

“Better looking real estate than where we are, that’s for sure.”

“Plus, he’s got another office location—a bigger one, from what I hear—in the north part of the city. The guy’s got money.”

“Yes, but you’ve got me,” I reassure him. “We’ll get you there.”

Beefcake lets loose a torrent of profanity. His curses are original, refreshing, and graphic.

“How many other people do you have working on this campaign?” I have nothing to lose by asking. I know I’m not his sole supporter, but I’ve met no one else. I have the sense he’s uninterested in assembling us as a team; Beefcake works with each of us in isolation.

“I have enough people. What I need more of is money.”

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.