(image courtesy Lauren Withrow)


I’m stuck at 7:37; my watch battery croaked. 

One of the damn burners on the stove won’t light.

When I (finally!) put the pumpkins in the compost, it knocked the shut-off valve for the gas line to the house and I didn’t have heat for hours.  

My camera is blinking and I don’t know why.

The turntable’s arm is frozen.

My car wouldn’t start.

My old computer finally burned itself out.

The router needs replacing and my brand new computer is tetchy and strange and there’s not enough bandwidth to get online.

If I pick up a pen, it’s dry.  

I’m cold, wandering around the house looking for a pen, stepping over messes I just cleaned up. I eye the naked xmas tree mocking me from the corner, wondering when I’ll stupid/brave enough to start wrestling with the lights.  My kids are coughing and cranky.  My jeans don’t fit.

Apparently, the universe is against me.

Please tell me I’m just being paranoid, please.  


About Anna Fonté

Girl in the Hat, aka Anna Fonté, is an author who writes about invisibility, outsider status, everyday monsters, and her attempts to befriend the neighborhood crows. The things she writes want you to look at them.


  1. Sis

    My phone cracked, by laptop called it quits, I did mediocre on the GRE. Let’s get hot toddies.

  2. this makes me laugh, and i know exactly how that is. actually, you’re being paranoid.

  3. Anna, I saw you at Betsy’s this afternoon and dropped by here to read about you. I see you’ve read widely. Have you studied the following books?

    Inventing the Truth (ed. Zinsser)
    The Art of the Novel (Kundera, trans. Asher)
    The Art of Fiction (Gardner)
    On Becoming a Novelist (Gardner)
    The Curtain (Kundera, trans. Asher)
    Creating Fiction (ed. Checkoway)
    201 Stories (Chekhov, ed. Rusk, available on-line)
    Crafting Fiction (Diogenes & Moneyhun)
    Aspects of the Novel (Forster)

    • Hey, Tetman– There are a couple here I haven’t read yet. I’ll put them on my library list. Sometimes I wonder if reading these books really helps a writer at all but then I think, who cares, they’re just so good. Thanks for the recommendation.

  4. Clearly you’ve been mysteriously transported back to 1549 when none of this stuff was available and therefore doesn’t operate properly. Except, you know, for the computer/blogging thing.

  5. Piss anybody off in Southern Louisiana, maybe? Voodoo capital of the mainland U. S? Something to think about.

  6. Sometimes these things all fall on you at once, usually when the weather is nasty and cold. No reason, I think, just that the things you bought get old or something is placed awkwardly, just waiting to nudge something else and cause a fall or spark or blackout.

    Personally, I am happy to have electricity at this time of year, in my 300 year old rental flat. I think of the people who have lived here over the years, without heat other than from the fireplaces, in the damp of winter. My great aunt lived without a toilet or a bath in her flat, washed in a tin tub filled up with water filled by the communal taps. I try to think of that when I wake up shivering at some draft blowing in.

    • I lived like that when I was on the east coast but we just don’t have that kind of history around here. Our house had no furnace when we moved in but we promptly put one in. I guess I’m a bit spoiled. I often wish there was more ancient fingerprints of our ancestors around to give me that feeling of connection to the past.

  7. If it’s the universe, it’s against me, too. We can be paranoid together or just know we’re not alone.

    Is Tetman’s list really the answer to this? Just thought I’d ask since I’m looking for one, too.

  8. But with all that frustration, this reads like a poem! I love the almost slant rhyming, convinced, coincidence, christmas…this is great. Hopefully it helped to let it all out! Oh, and I like the voodoo idea.

  9. Oh, is that what is going on this week?!

  10. No, you’re not being paranoid. The universe really IS out to get you.

    Muah haha. . . .

  11. I can’t decide if this is depressing me or making me feel a whole lot better….

  12. Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they AREN’T after you…

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