The answer, of course, is yes. I myself, during the period of my life that I like to call, “The Troubles,” slept at least once a week in the Burlington, Vermont “international” airport, awaiting my 6AM Jet Blue flight to New York City. This time is mysterious to me, looking back on it: Did I really spend hundreds and hundreds of hours beneath those unflinching fluorescent lights?
The Midwest swing of the tour is over. Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin — and Oklahoma. Oklahoma: The only state in the union to which I’d never been. So, I drove the extra two hours to put a foot across the border. And a small huzzah escaped from the crowd. (Okay, there was no crowd.)
What did I see? Many, many things. My favorite bookstore in the world — Watermark Books, in Wichita, Kansas. And also dead corn — lots and lots of dead corn — acres of it, stretching over the normally-green hills. The drought is real. It is scary. I’m not sure what’s scarier: The drought, itself? Or the fact that so few people are worried?
Back now to Portland — and to another semester at Lewis and Clark College.