The Snowball Effect

Shayan Kashani
2 min readDec 27, 2023


i wake up minutes before my 4:50am alarm to the sound of a mosquito mounting a one-man attack. in a futile attempt to exterminate the bastard, i slap myself upside the head, which gets me out of my cold, hard bed.

my head is foggy, my sinuses antsy, and the lack of joie de vivre is most evident is my aching neck due to a pillow that’s so thin and pointless that if i ripped it to shreds, none of the other pillows would go to the funeral.

i take a shower to warm up to find the usual hot water inexplicably replaced by a tepid stream more suitable for gentling dabbing out a red stain on a white, limited-edition alpaca hand-made stark rug.

i head downstairs to discover that complimentary coffee isn’t available this early at the bed and breakfast i’m staying in Quito, where the city’s elevation is at two-thousand, eight-hundred and fifty-seven meters.

altitude. who the fuck knew it would have such a profound impact on your attitude? my energy’s gone, my appetite low, and i’m suddenly sporting a phlegmy cough i hadn’t seen since i quit smoking nine months ago.

after work, i go to the store to buy an orthopaedic pillow and a burrito, but they didn’t have either, so i walked around aimlessly for fifteen minutes before leaving empty-handed to discover a downpour had started outside.

so i’m double-timing it home but as i go past this building, a feral canine comes belting toward me. i quickly realize it was fixin’ to attack so when it lunges i turn my back to protect my hands and it bites me in the ass.

it doesn’t break the skin, but leaves a bruise and rips my pants and gives me a hell of a scare. the rain is really coming down now and i’m soaking wet, so i just put my head down and walk home at an ordinary pace.

when i get to my room, i sit and stare in the mirror for a few minutes. then i pick up my phone and order a pizza. when it arrives, i eat the whole thing alone in silence, then turn off the lights and hope tomorrow is a better day.



Shayan Kashani

Writer — Philosopher — Teacher — Runner — Reader — Nomad.