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On vultures, and other winged things

A vulture almost killed me the other day. Doing 80 on 70 and it rose slowly from the side of the road, its wings, as wide as the car, flapping uselessly at the hot dry air. I looked at its red bald head, into its surprised eyes. And an updraft pushed it up and over the car.

Deeper into the interior. These rotting towns an American cancer. Everybody wants to follow the Joads out to that golden coast. I guess nobody reads that book to the end.

I followed the Joads even though I knew well how that story ends. It ended about the same, sans all the death and flooding and killing, and I flew back to from where I came, drunken and broken. Maybe I can take my MFA down to the community college, get a job teaching literature to farm kids. Make them read Steinbeck and Fante. “The streets will be full of sleek women you never will possess and the hot semi-tropical nights will reek of romance you’ll never have.”

Deeper into the interior. Where the wheat turns golden and burns to the ground. Where there are no police, no firefighters. I’ll get a shotgun and a fire extinguisher, email you every other month. Sit on the porch with a bottle of wine, watching the moon rise full and fat into a starry sky. And wait for you to arrive.

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