[WP] A disease is sweeping the country baffling doctors. It affects the brain, specifically- the release of bonding chemicals, and it stops the ability to feel love and connection with other humans. It's now hit your hometown.

'Fraying Connections Not Easily Repaired'-front page o' the Gazette, my main source of reading since the Sweep came in, took our town by surprise. Said an old lady down the lane, she had a kid die in an influenza many years back, agonizing but then gone instantaneously, we would all succumb like that, us heathens, her husband already gone in 2001 from cancer of the bones.

Crumpling newspapers all tell the same stories from experts, from researchers. I pile them in a corner and watch the dog jump on them until around 10 am, and wonder why I still like him and hate everybody else. He barks, he pees, he expects me to clean up his messes and I oblige and say, Here Spank, Take My Food And Then Leave Me Alone For A While, Would Ya? Asian guy right here in before the funnies, which I will eventually get to, says that this thing, the Sweep in it's big bad intonation of a title, is merely a fungus growing in an anterior region of the brain or some shitty thing like that, and it will decompose with enough exposure to oxygen and melt into nothing, back into the bloodstream, out of our lives and back to the place where it came from, probably Europe but we only say that out of facetiousness. We're still out in Oklahoma, wondering if we'll crumble when Texas loses it's mind or New York goes down in flames from lack of caring about it's surroundings and the domino effect knocks us over like the small green piece we really are.

Two dudes shanked one another by the bar, a few others got in and it became the royale Donkey's Bar fight of the century. Brothers. Couldn't stand one another, went at it. Then somebody else couldn't stand someone else and took them down a peg and five, then ten and pretty soon half the young men and one women from 10th St to 88th were trying to slit each other's throats and turn a peaceful night into Iwo Jima round II. Chaos, same night my girlfriend looked into my glassy eyes and mine into hers and decided it was time to pick up our jackets, stop fucking, head out into tonight's hurrah and say goodbye to each other for awhile and maybe forever. She blames the fungus and I blame my bad behavior, at the time I bit to the scapegoat but not anymore. The Sweep was not the deciding factor in much, I think, but it's become a hell of a devilish excuse.

Now look at this-a Russian researcher thinks the Americans are actually being led astray because they cannot formulate a shrinking chemical that bonds something here to there and synthesizes something else, and we're actually feeling the effects of decay in the early stages, we are alone in a smokey room that's losing light and filling closer to the brim. First we lose touch to others, then we lose our minds. Apt enough. I don't know if it's a bad thing to want to go Mad Max on this shit, get it before it gets me, turn a few tin cans of Campbell's into a suit and fight the kids down at the Comic Convention for their resources before they try to take mine. Apocalypse, I mean. No use in crying about Armageddon.

So our brains are all we are, we are infected, it's going to bring us down, frayed connections. Maybe we needed another person more than another step in any direction. All we ever needed, right there, now we can't and we are miserable. Some things are not able to be reconstructed, they stay broke, I'm taking Spank for a walk before I lose one more thing necessary to my survival. The Sweep? More like The Disease of Hiding Away, Loneliness, Self-Destruction.

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