Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
I was home on fall break in my final year at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, and I needed money to pay tuition, so I was working a twelve-hour shift with my father at the ceiling-tile factory.
I am waiting to turn left at an intersection. A driver cuts me off, we make eye contact, and I am caught in the endless loop of a memory I thought I had left behind eight years ago in Afghanistan. I begin to feel panicked.
After fifteen years in prison I was beginning to assume my life couldn’t get any more lopsided and annoying, but now some cruel functionary has started a war against the local swallows.
A Tribute To Brian Doyle
You believed that everything is a form of prayer, including laughter, including tears. Yes, you were a reverential man, but you weren’t stiff or boring or preachy or dour. Your essays were both concise — often just a page in length — and lush, your sentences as intricate and twisty as plants in a terrarium. You combined prose and poem (and prayer, you said) to bear witness to the miracles around us.
Next door, in a run-down daiquiri-pink house with bedsheets instead of curtains on the windows, lived Whitey Carr, who loved to pound me every Sunday with his tiny fists. My mother said I had to feel sorry for Whitey because he’d lost his mom, and his brother, Raja, had come back crazy from the war.