With the city behind me
the prairie the only answer to my discomfort
I followed highway 36 east
until the light changed.
There on the side of the road I waited.
bare feet on pavement.
And then this.
It’s that time of year again, you know the one when we get really excited about our country. Though, somehow that excitement has been transferred more to mattress and truck sales. Because nothing says celebration like spending hours in a show room waiting to find out about financing. Meanwhile I like getting stuck at the light on Colfax in my thirteen year old car because I can watch the World Cup for a few minutes on the big screens outside The Three Lions. I guess I didn’t get the memo early enough that I’m not American enough. Makes me think about Hari Kondabolu and his comment the other day about growing up in New York. He didn’t know any white people, though he knew plenty of Irish, and Italians, and Jews. Growing up around the same time ten miles away the only difference in my childhood was the occasional Midwesterner I would meet, usually someone who’s work intersected with my Dad’s, in New York for a few years as part of their way of working their way up the corporate ladder. They would come to Thursday Dinner, where the conversations would drift from Marxism, to someone telling tales from their latest stint of fieldwork. Now I live in the middle of this country, I find I have more connection to it, the land that is, I’m still doubtful of it’s history. Though I’m thankful that it gave my great-grandparents a place to land as pogroms filled the Pale. Two weeks ago I found a copy of A Carp in the Bathtub at the library book sale, yesterday I brought home some carp from H-Mart, dreams of my grandmother’s attempt to renew old traditions in my mind. Instead I had the fish in my hands wringing out the excess water from freezing. None of this assuaged my guilt from even buying the over fished fish. Finally at 8 we sat down to fried fish and plates of asparagus, while an interview about Roger Ebert played on the radio in the kitchen. We stayed up late watching murder mysteries on the couch. More excited about our next trip; Routt National Forest, than fireworks and burgers from the near-by market.
Oh and I did this.