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  • Glance left, glance right.

    Across highway 33, over on the bench.

    Jack can sense it. Like a hungry animal. He is.

    A bag.

    Arches.

    Part of a burger, some cold fries.

    Best meal in 4 days.

    Only.

    The bench could be a throne, this lonely path a yellow brick road. Mainly used by lawyers and professors who spend more on a sports device than Jack has seen in the last 10 years.

    Not bitter.

    Hungry.

    Head drops.

    The dream. A suburban house, a closet with pressed shirts and a rack full of ties. A wife smiles and 3 blond haired kids clamor for attention. A folded newspaper. Slippers. Golf clubs. Five different pairs of dress shoes (why?). Work boots. Three kinds of sports shoes. Sandals.

    Sandals.

    It's that thought that wakes Jack from the alternative universe.

    Friggin sandals.

    The things on Jack's feet are not even recognizable as consumer products. The original canvas has more material missing than present. The bottoms flap like poorly made flippers.

    Dress shoes, Jack mutters. I'm wearing them,

    Glance left now, then right.

    Right.

    What is THAT?

    Over in the grass.

    Brand new.

    No way.

    Jack lets the greasy white bag flutter away, bounding across the road, a breeze sweeping it towards a brand new stucco house.

    He knows.

    He kicks his tattered shoes into the ditch.

    A brand new pair of Tevas.

    First like skin.

    Meant for him.

    If you don't want to lose your shit don't leave it out here.

    Simple.

    Finders keep.

    ----
    I am using Cowbird to share the story of a 15,000 mile road odyssey I took in 2011, which started with me quitting my job in March and setting out in June for a loop around the US and Canada. It's less of a day by day narrative and more of an attempt to tell a story of the story, with some amounts of imagined bits that emerge on looking at the media from the trip, including the more than 1400 images, videos, and audio files collected in my digital time capsule, the Storybox.
    ----
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