23rd Street

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]’m not a traveller. In fact, I’ve never been anywhere noteworthy, unless you count Tijuana.

The one time I visited New York City, I had a nervous breakdown on 23rd Street. The embarrassing event happened in front of a place called the Flatiron Building. The doctor said it was a case of shock. He explained that my dizziness would go away when I returned to scenery that vaguely resembled pastures. But the nausea never subsided, I was wobbly for six days.

I’ve never seen that many people wearing suits in my life, and I’ve never cared to, either.

See, to understand the rural mediocrity that is me, you ought to know I grew up an hour from town. My friends had horses before driver’s licenses. We wore denim, and looked stupid in it. We wrung chickens’ necks; and we didn’t call it farm-to-table, we called it supper. We milked cows and bitched about it, like we you’re supposed to. We shot rifles at bales of hay. Our parents ate scrambled pork brains and eggs for breakfast, and didn’t save us any.

We loved liver of all kinds, and so did our dogs. Politicians hated liver, and so did their dogs.

Most of us boys only ever had one good girlfriend. Not because we didn’t yearn for more experience, but because there weren’t many girls around. We loved our mothers, we ate our vegetables, we said grace before supper, and by God, we watched the World Series.

Whenever we left town, we were sick until we got back.

And the truth is, we still get that way.