“I wish I could go back to that time in my life, the best of times, and live it all again.”
Her companion wheeled her chair closer. “Oh, when would that be?”
“I guess in my early 30s. When my children were young.”
“That was a happy time for me, too,” her friend said. “I was so madly in love with my children.”
“Yeah. Great grandkids just aren’t the same. I mean, I love them, but . . . ”
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The way she said the word “Goodbye” set off alarm bells for me. She sounded like she was saying goodbye forever. Was she thinking about suicide? That didn’t seem like her. Maybe she had an escape plan in mind. She was in danger – if she had a way to disappear safely that might be what she was up to. I decided to go over to her place to talk with her. I . . .
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I love to travel. Do you? It’s exciting to visit other places. I like to leave the desert and go somewhere green and wet. I like to try local food. I like to see oceans and mountains and forests and vast fields of corn and all the things I could never see at home. I like the tiny coffee shops and bakeries and internet cafes in strange places around the world. I’m ready to pack my suitcase right now.
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The news is so crazy, the outrage and anger are overwhelming, the situation in the country is so fraught, it makes me crazy. It makes me want to hide. How can you stay sane in an atmosphere like this? Sit outside and watch the stars at night? Watch “The Mindy Project” on TV? Go for a walk and forget the whole mess? We’ve got to take care of ourselves in this nutso time.
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Where I grew up most of the freight trains came carrying sugar beets. Open topped cars filled to almost overflowing with big white beets. When the sugar factory on the north side of town was operating, the stink filled the whole town. But like the cattle feed lots that joined in the stink, nobody complained about ‘the smell of money.’
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My grandmother didn’t curse. When really frustrated she would spell out S-H-I-T. Maybe she cursed when I wasn’t around. But her son, my father, couldn’t get through a sentence without some sort of curse word. He used to brag that he talked like a drunken sailor. He never said a goddam thing that didn’t need a strong curse. And me, what position do I take on cursing?
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I like the tourist destinations just as much as the tourists. I like to drag around all over the state and visit the parks and famous restaurants and funky little ghost towns. But the balloon fiesta brings out the most people from everywhere. It’s so much fun. Every year. The balloons are beautiful. You should see it.
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This is where I write. It’s awfully crowded in here right now. Too much furniture, but some will move out soon. But I don’t mind because I sit in my chair and type all day long and never look at the room around me. I’m in another world. Where do you write?
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As a kid I loved shooting rubber bands and spit balls at people. I thought it was funny to tell other kids they had spiders in their hair. I liked calling random people on the phone and asking if the refrigerator was running. That goofy sense of humor went away. Or maybe it turned into a love of puns, obscure literary references, and strange science stories.
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Seeing him invariably would flood her senses to the point that she was almost in shock – unable to function. All the hairs on the back of her neck rose, she wanted to run but couldn’t, she felt a little like vomiting but held it. Knowing he was behind thick glass with a guard standing right there didn’t change her reaction to her father.
Her lawyer put a hand in the small of her back, gave her a little push. “It’s okay. Sit down and pick up the phone.”
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