Acupuncture After The Apocalypse

Much Is Going On

So much is going on that I have little time to write. Prianka is furious Levi didn’t get on the plane today. Me, she doesn’t care about.

But let me bring you up to date on the relatives and our campaign to get them to come back to the States. In short, Eve was ready to leave the second we arrived and announced the idea. The girls were shocked, but they’re coming around. Mason was immediately dead set against it, and two days later, still is.

Here’s why: the family actually has a really sweet set-up here. Anyone can see it. The “house” they rented is really five structures, two on ground level, and three up in the trees. One of the treehouses is Mason’s laboratory, one is Eve’s office, and one is a place for Lark and Chloe to do what Mason and Eve call “their work,” which as nearly as I can tell is what I’d call “play.”

Mason has abandoned his research of the mouth parts of preshistoric insects—if that was ever what he studied in the first place and not just something I made up—and has become completely immersed in the minutiae of this beautiful forest. While his lab is built on the buttresses and limbs of one of the largest living things in the forest, the Gameleira tree, he’s studying the smallest. It’s an organism he calls “Myxomycetes” and that Eve describes as “slime molds.”

She says “slime molds” without a trace of disgust or irony, as if she’s genuinely interested. My, how marriage changes a person.

Mason likes his slime molds, loves working up in a tree during the day, and he doesn’t want to ditch it and return to the States. He and Eve keep having quiet but intense conversations in rooms that the rest of us aren’t in.

A tribe of howler monkeys came through the woods today.

Mason does have a point.

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.