The Death Stare

“What everybody is talking about right now is, what happened to pneumonia?” he said. “What happened to a lot of deals, a lot of common flu deaths, why is everything being reported Covid now?… We’ve heard that hospitals are getting reimbursed more for Covid cases…”

Perhaps Mr. Brown sensed that I was skeptical. “Right now you’re located in Texas, you’re in North Texas, you’re in the Bible Belt,” he told me. “So people around here have a different philosophy than a lot of people in New York.” Mr. Brown paused for a moment, holding my eyes with a practiced earnestness. “I’m just being honest.”

(Elizabeth Bruenig, “Death and Texas,” NYTimes, 6-5-20)

We Texans often have to remind visitors of where they’re located and where they’re from. It’s a kind of forgetfulness we cure them of with our honesty.

(c) 2020 JMN

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day, and watch Netflix and Prime Video for entertainment. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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