illness
“Last Night I Cried,” by Paula Boyland.

“Last Night I Cried,” by Paula Boyland.

No guidelines for a new way of life. “On the surface, we’re still doing what we were doing before the world changed …” Last night I cried. I was pouring myself a glass of wine and debating whether to watch TV in bed or play games on the computer. Mid-pour, I was surprised by the tightness in...
“No One Is Intrinsically Immune,” by Christopher Bradley, MD:  A neuroscientist explains transmission.

“No One Is Intrinsically Immune,” by Christopher Bradley, MD: A neuroscientist explains transmission.

If the surface were “human,” our immune system would not recognize it as “foreign,” and we would not develop immunity. A pangolin, or spiny anteater, in defensive posture. Where do I start? I’m a molecular biologist, a neuroscientist, and a practicing physician (so I deal with infections). I am not a virologist, nor an infectious...
"At Death's Door," an essay by Margie Patlak.

“At Death’s Door,” an essay by Margie Patlak.

Looking back and clinging to life. “But I just don’t feel old! I’m not ready to die.”   I was going to die. I had a brain tumor; it had grown back, I could feel it boring down into the roof of my mouth, and now I was going to die. I couldn’t accept it, couldn’t...
"Wordless," an essay by Susan Moldaw.

“Wordless,” an essay by Susan Moldaw.

All we can say at the end. “She rubs my knuckles and down each finger with even sweeps of her thumb, her other hand bent clawlike beside her face.” Orange Memorial Hospital. Photograph by Chad Hunt. The old woman lies in the fetal position in her hospital bed, breathing the slow, rhythmic sighs of death. She moans,...
"Kuan Yin," a memoir by Judy Anne Wilson: Coming out as a lesbian in the first years of the AIDS crisis.

“Kuan Yin,” a memoir by Judy Anne Wilson: Coming out as a lesbian in the first years of the AIDS crisis.

“I imagined his losses as paving stones, each appearing one after the other, each the dispossession of a dream, a hope.” Pride. Photo by the author. – Kuan Yin I was such a newbie, arriving in San Francisco on a rare sunlit afternoon in mid-November 1983. A picaro of sorts, by way of trust-fund-baby hippie communes and other,...