It’s been a strange month. After a month like the last one, it’s hard to look your neighbors square in the eye; for some of us, it’s hard to look our sheep dogs in the eye.
It began in the morning. The town was covered in a fog too thick for the season, and too rank to be natural. There were a few alarmists who swore it was terrorism, stayed home and taped up their windows; it didn’t do a bit of good, of course, because by then we’d all been breathing it in most of the morning, although I suppose they might have got a weaker dose than the rest of us.
I remember sitting at my desk. The office was a third empty, which made sense enough, with the panic spreading over the local airwaves. After lunch, less than half the staff came back. Cowards, I thought. I’d spent half the morning Googling chemical weapons, so I was feeling fairly safe. I went to the bathroom, and… I wasn’t prepared for what was there. There was a massive orgy taking place; it was like walking into a very ambitious, very very low budget porno. I excused myself, and decided I didn't need to go that badly. On the way back to my cube, I noticed that the fishbowl conference room was steamed up. I found myself staring into it, as if with enough concentration I could cut through the fog, when a naked pair of buttocks, with a naked pair of legs wrapped around them, smacked noisily against the glass. I decided I was going to go home sick for the rest of the day.
It only got worse as days passed. Most offices shut down; employees got more work done from home than they possibly could in public. Of course, those of us with spouses at home had almost as much trouble clawing our way out of bed.
It was simply commerce that ground to a halt. The doors of the United Methodist church have been closed since the minister led a bukkake revival on the “Come Unto Me” statue of Jesus in the Cedarvale cemetery. Apparently he’s been fasting and praying since he came down off the sacramental wine. Several of the church fathers have been by to speak with him, although as I gather it they mostly think it should be filed away as failed youth outreach.
Representatives of the CDC arrived at the end of the first week. They quickly unearthed a device from the Air Force, apparently part of a nonlethal bioweapons test. Usually in a case like this, the government spikes the local water supply. That way, people’s bodies get used to a specific neural inhibitor. When the bomb goes off, its effects are temporary. Well, that’s a fine idea, to be sure, but the problem is the Army Corps. of Engineers spiked the well in Baytown, not Bay City. That’s the theory (at least as advanced by the Surgeon General and officials from the WHO), why our "enhanced state of arousal" lasted a whole month.
Rumors from townsfolk who claimed relations in the Air Force said the device released was a prototype for the kinds of research they’d been conducting into things like that gay bomb. Government never would confirm or deny a thing, but they agreed to build us a new library as long as no part of any suit ever went to court.
Truth be told, there were quite a few people changed by the month we had. It threatened a few marriages, but fidelity became such a fluid concept, especially by the third week, that no one managed to be entirely faithful (even Bill Jenkins, who'd been dead a week, managed to fool around on his widow- though I suppose, to be fair, Sarah Lynn did most of the "work"). But there were some lasting effects, too. Jack Mott called up and undisowned his gay son after an exceptionally intimate game of poker with his friends. Lisa Redding finally started enjoying sex by demanding to be on top. And Alek Paulsen saved his marriage by putting on a dress for his wife. I think we learned to be a little bit less afraid of sex, and a little more accepting of the erotic part in each of us. It was a strange month, I tell ya, but I think it turned out all right in the end.