I’m totally sick. I hate being sick. I will fight admitting it to the end. But my throat hurts and I’m achy and a simple ride to campus left me out of breath. So after class I rode straight home and got on the couch and promised myself I’d stay here until I actually feel better, not just until I wish I felt better. (I’m a terrible patient.) Today’s class got another visit from writer Amy Hempel, and I have to say, her incredibly calm demeanor helped me breath in and breath out and settle into the sick. My students asked her great questions, including that big one: how do you know what to write about? She said she’s always writing, that she’s always, in the words of her editor, open for business. Hearing something, seeing something, especially out of context, can spark a story. I mean, heck, there’s all that mystery. I thought about this as I was stopped at a red light and looked past the sidewalk at a whole bunch of trash in a lot awaiting remediation before hosting yet another Uptown bank branch. There were some classified ads from a month ago, a really old broken beer bottle, wrappers from mini carrots throw, I’m guessing, at the St. Patrick’s Day parade. The big lot surely holds lots of stories in its debris field. But I got nothing but a sore throat. No more bikes until I feel better. And repeat.