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  • The place I'm from has roundabouts. So many of them, newly minted, sprung up one lazy summer without warning. It was a weirdly controversial issue, but my town finally OKed them because too many people were getting into accidents. (The cornfields were so tall they blocked your view when you came to a four-way stop).

    I would try to go to the movies or to the Dairy Queen and just find myself driving round and round, circle after circle. Which is exactly how I felt each summer growing up: empty and stuck on a loop. Lifeguard, sweat, hang out, sweat, read, invariably sweat, drive around.

    The next summer, these life-like statues of happy looking midwestern folk sprung up. Our town was populated with plaster. A girl watering a plant. A kindly policeman on the corner. A casual woman on a bench. Made me miss the simple controversy of the circles.

    I'm going back this weekend to check-up on the roundabouts. It's been a long time. Strange what progress looks like in good ol Indiana.
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