08 June 2004

LATE Monday night

Though the low point of my day today involved a woman DRIVING INTO MY TRUCK as I was parked in the Triangle Grocery parking lot in Cedar Crest (notably talking to Cam -- how many people can say they've been auditory witness to an accident from 1200 miles away?), the evening more than compensated. The move uptown has taken my life in an overwhelmingly positive direction, and everything looks a little brighter on this side of May 10. Most evenings, I sit on the patio in our backyard and watch the sunset fall across the Sandias, the lights rise in the city below us, the lizards running across our "orchard" wall.

But. I'm coming home!! I plan to leave excruciatingly early Thursday morning (June 10), meet Tim in OK City for food and delightful conversation (how is it possible that I haven't seen him since graduation?), and then hit Des Moines for a few days to give birthday presents to Cam & Adam. Then maybe a stop in Peoria, and... Madison! For a glorious six days of swinging my legs against the pier, watching the sun set over Lake Mendota -- drinking beer on the Union Terrace, listening to music -- hiking out to Picnic Point -- wandering down State Street -- possibly hitting up the Angelic or Paul's Club or the Great Dane or (if Cindy has any say) the Main Tap -- writing at Steep & Brew -- driving along John Nolen toward the most perfect skyline in the world -- playing in the arboretum -- of course, bottomless cups of shitty coffee at Perkins -- oh! and pizza at Marias! So much, so much....

Most of all: the lakes. The ducks. The low green hills and steamy June nights of early summer in Wisconsin.

Strangely, perhaps, I am also looking forward to -- but no, that's not strong enough -- I'm craving the long twisting stretch of 151 between Grinnell and Oregon. I confess that much homesickness roots itself along those roads, which is I suppose appropriate, given my torn devotion to two midwestern hometowns. How many times did I drive that long, lovely route between 1997 and 2003? I know it all, every inch, every falling barn and striking bridge....

I had planned to drive right from Des Moines to Peoria, but... ah, I am longing for the drive up through Cedar Rapids and Dubuque, Anamosa and Dickeyville.... In any case, I'll drive it on my way back.

ANYhow, I'll have my cell the whole time, so find me! Take me out for drinks and darts! I can't wait to see you, everyone, my family.

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