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2008-10-27 - 10:42 a.m.

I hope this entry stays up. The last one got eaten by the Internet. It was about pine cones and maple leaves and how it's easy to take things for granted. Really, I think I just need a back yard, or at least some trees around. I grew up in a house with ten miles of woods behind it and I miss that, though I didn't, then, know I would miss it. I think I was so eager, when I was a little younger, to jump headlong into coffee shops and record stores and warehouse lofts that I forgot, for maybe a little while, how nice falling leaves can be. Maybe this is why people seem to love Central Park so much, because there's a part of everyone that vibrates, just a fraction of an inch, when they see red maple leaves or feel the fall on their cheeks.

So I'm optimistic but still a little nervous about the election. The news stories point to a wave of good news: my guy's up nine points in Virginia. North Carolina and Indiana, of all places, might be competitive. And it all looks pretty good, at this point, a week and a day away. But how about the particular jitteriness, that nervousness of folks on my side, that even though the reporters all tell us we should be feeling good, we still feel as if it might go all wrong? And that the day after, we'll slap ourselves for ever being so foolish as to think our side had it made? Some of my friends are convinced the other side will win. Me, I'm excited about having a black president. I think it's about time. And also such a smart, calm, capable president. It gives me hope.

I'm working now on a chapter about all of the things I used to do by myself when I was about nine or ten or eleven. A partial list: shooting baskets at a neighbor's backyard court, building model airplanes, looking for possible secrets in the woods behind my parents' house, reading. One day, soon, I hope, I'll be done with this kid business and then I'll write about real-deal adult stuff. Except I can't shake this idea of a novel about a 13-foot giant.

Got tickets to the Ravens game yesterday. Eighty thousand people screaming and stamping their feet = some kind of experience for the ears and for the belly.

I am wearing one half of a retro track suit. I wish I could wear the other half with impunity. {Side note: Just now, I went to the old dictionary on my desk, to check on the spelling of "impunity." I know it's a bit of a cliche, but it's true about the smell of old books. The dictionary--Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language (College Edition)--was published in 1966 and it smells good. I just put my nose deep into it and it smells like it should. [And I see that I paid $4.50 for this dictionary, and I remember where I bought it, which was a half-junk, half-used-bookstore on Main Street in Arbutus, where David Byrne grew up. Mainly, I remember the girl who I went to that store with, how she'd laugh at me and say, oh, I see you're buying another book and how she always wanted to go to Leon's next door and get their breakfast special even though they stopped serving it at noon and also how I loved her for a long, long time after we broke up a year after I bought this dictionary. So I guess there are worlds within worlds and sometimes reckoning with them can get a little out of hand. But perhaps that is also what makes this place just a little bit magical and worth sticking around in? I don't believe in magic, really, but I believe in the intersection of a textured world and a receptive set of eyes. That could be magic.]} I started writing about a track suit but I've lost my way a bit. The word "impunity" did it.

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