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  • Most of us were asleep, or at least trying to sleep, an elongated steel box zooming down a Vermont highway, but I saw the flowers on the great green rolling fields on the side of the highway, I saw how the land plunges down even as the highway stays level, into an impossibly deep valley so that the treetops sink to nearly eye level, their great noble trunks plunging down below the highway as if they were roots,
    I saw how the colors of the flowers were brighter and more colorful than any other color I'd ever seen in my entire life, somehow, I didn't know how, I couldn't really understand how, they just seemed purer than the colors you see printed on a page or painted on a canvas or shown on a screen, and it felt absurd for some reason, as if there were a giant flashing sign reading "Paradise" with an arrow, plainly sprawled in the midst of the paradise-is-not-here, paradise-is-far-far-away land of the highway, a tool that people use to get from paradise to hell or vice versa—and everybody was ignoring it.

    Why do people drive by these things? Why don't they stop and get out of their cars and roll around in the flowers and sit by a tree and read a book and take pictures with antique cameras? Does it make me crazy that I am the only one who sees these things, who feels a sort of timid, primitive voice bubbling up from my mind, saying "Hey, excuse me sir, excuse me ma'am, hold on just a second, why aren't YOU seeing this, and why aren't YOU seeing this, and, just, look, please look out there, am I crazy?" but never quite reaches the lips...

    Only reaches the fingers, on cowbird, apparently?

    Does it reach the eyes to anyone else?

    I must admit that I took the above picture in Hope, RI, not Lyndonville, VT where the story is set.
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