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This weekend, I flew from Seattle to DC - with a layover in Kansas. I wrote this at the airport bar.

People who live in Kansas are brave.
How do they do it?
How do they conduct their business at a measured pace –
do their jobs and drive their trucks and watch their televisions –
Like everything’s normal?

Like this is okay?

Me: I’m barely holding it together.
In fact, it’s all I can do to sit on this airport bar stool and order my Bud Light in a normal voice because what I really want to do is scream!
run! in terror from the reality of this great and terrible space.
Instead I’ll sit here and eat my french fries and talk to the woman on her way to Denver like nothing’s going on.

I know I should be taken by the beauty of the sunset through these narrow windows:
all those colors in all that sky.
But with no lumpy mountains,
no pitchy wet-green forests,
no sandy curve of rocky shore,
no distant skyline to fixate on –
I can’t get away from it.
I’m a spider trapped in the corner of a bathtub.
I’ve just said the wrong thing at a party.
I’m naked at the school dance.

I am exposed. i am alone. (i am so, so small)

This is why people live in cities: so we can mistake these doubtless buildings for ourselves. So we can forget.
People who live in Kansas are brave.
How do they do it?


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