Today is my 68th Birthday. Not a Big Deal — Per Se. But Today Has Lasted a Week

Photo by Kym MacKinnon on Unsplash

I get crazy three days before the full moon. Like I’ve been today, my birthday, January 25th. So I figured, the full moon would be on January 28th. I looked it up when I got home. Next full moon, 28 Jan 2021, 13:16, which is 1:16 in the afternoon.

People blame the light of the full moon for these sorts of effects, but they’re wrong. I think we feel the tides in our bodies, the actual gravitational attraction. In Oregon, where you never saw the moon, or even the sky from October to June because of clouds and rain, women still synchronized their periods and I reliably went batshit crazy right on schedule. I can prove the exact dates by the booking photos.

That’s all I have to say just now. What, you expected a story? You just got one! Don’t forget, I write 50 Word Stories for The Bad Influence. This story (above) is 123 words.


[:UPDATE 3 AM 01–26–2021:]

  1. Finally, for three hours it has not been my birthday anymore. And somehow the moon lost its hold on me, which has never happened to me before. Usually it’s on the actual day of the full moon when the lunacy finally breaks.
  2. A thought about food insecurity. I don’t exactly have food insecurity this moment. I have a robust, Panama-style chicken soup in the fridge. It looks like about 3 liters’ worth, which should last a week (though I like to keep some for a starter on the next pot) . . . I have enough money to walk to the store and buy another chicken and some veges to get going again. I’ve been giving some food to a covid-suffering neighbor and to a dog that lives here part time. Also I’ve been preparing a trap for catching some juicy looking wild chickens that kind of live near my back door. Actually I should say “kind of wild,” because these are just plain regular chickens living a feral outlaw existence out between me and the cattle lands.

I suppose food insecurity depends on culture. My daily existence is probably food-insecure by American standards. I used to be food insecure in America, in Florida. I had a choice of standing in food lines for days like the Black people in my neighborhood were forced to do, or move to Latin America. I moved.

There are a lot of Black people in Panama, and I welcome any Americans who want to join me here. Black or any other shade is everyday here — the only hint of prejudice I can see here is between Panamanians as a whole and American expats. I don’t come across as expat partly because of my fluent Spanish and partly because I can live on chicken and some local vegetables.



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Fred Ermlich

Fred Ermlich


Living in rural Panamá — non-extractive, non-capitalistic. Expat USA. Scientist, writer, researcher, teacher. STEM mentor +languages. Gargoylplex@protonmail.com