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Location: Southeastern, United States

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Campus

People here walk at the speed of slow molasses, rural girls, the gait of east-campus kids who don't have to climb down one side of the valley and across the stream-crossed valley floor in the ten minutes between classes. People here are friendly, their faces gentle when they look at you, asking, do I know you? I know more of them than I thought I would. I know a whole world, I guess, just because we were in a class together once, way up in my dorm, up on the western wall of the valley and the world. In front of us when we wake up every morning lies a single street of shops, the neighborhoods hidden behind the laugh-line wrinkles at the mountain's base, the far expanse of a single farm, the highway out. Behind us when we go to sleep every night is a wavering track of road up past the parking lots and the woods they replaced, the source of the stream, the muddy pond, apartments holding to one side of the hill, and then down the mountain through houses and lives and poplar groves to the other highway, the road on through. That is where I live, in part of a single valley, and it can be claustrophobic, but it is also rich and alive. It is a teeming city of students, a dense settlement, a colony hive for the teachers and businessmen and preachers and farmers of the mountain towns. It is important. It is a whole world.

love
alex

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