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From Americus to Columbus today. Georgia countryside is gorgeous under a pristine blue sky—succulent, green grass; explosion of wild flowers on tall stalks, along the highway—except for the interminable fields of turned over red clay, some pale, ghostly, almost like sand—spirits of what once was before they were stripped of life, poisoned with pesticides and fertilizers—others dark and rich, never, or only very recently, been planted. But where these fields meet an undulating green ridge of trees, and then the blue wall of sky is something quite lovely to behold, and beautiful in its own right, like the greatest flag unfurled, and being wapped in that flag; I can touch it, feel it all around me. In places it is all that is—just a field of color transmitted across the thinnest, most insubstantial vastness of space, like the synaptic gap between neurons. An existence swallowed up by the pupil, focused by the lens on the back of my eye to the forefront of my mind…

These thoughts occurred hours ago, being penned now at Annie D’s, a tiny, Southern as Southern can be restaurant in Buena Vista. It’s all that’s here in town as far as I’m concerned, and that’s perfectly fine. Never had such a good Half ‘n Half, as they’re known in The South. That sweet tea! Hot damn! Charming place even if the walls and floorboards are filthy, even if the blinds are hung crooked and look as though they might fall off their brackets at the slightest touch. No frills. Stripped down. Plate glass windows on every wall yield so much natural light not a speck of dirt goes unnoticed. Ketchup and hot sauce in hand-labeled plastic bottles in the center of every cheap, masonite table. One in every three of these tables covered in a table cloth. Styrofoam cups. Plastic plates. Smiling faces. Happy people.

 

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