Remember? Remember standing on a gravel road in Vermont --along a big river in a Montana valley, on a dock jutting out into a lake in the Adirondacks, at the edge of the ocean in Oregon and in Florida-- watching as stars lost their grip and heaved themselves down the sky? Remember squadrons of prehistoric birds so ungainly that they looked like God's grandest mechanical joke repeatedly wobbling through the darkness toward a crash landing in the surf? Remember standing in the damp country in Michigan, in Minnesota, in Iowa, in Illinois, watching fireflies wheel and tumble above the black fields? I remember. I remember the wind whistling through open car windows and the hum-thumpa-hum of tires on the pavement of dark highways and music carrying in the darkness and the bright lights of carnival rides whirling on the horizon and days and nights so permeated with wonder that they leeched the words right out of me and left every letter of the alphabet in fuzzed and uselessly abstract isolation fluttering from a clothesline stretched across the roof of my skull while backyard sprinklers shook their maracas up and down the block of my old neighborhood and I drifted all night at the margins of sleep.
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