America, there are moments when I think I have you figured out and they overwhelm every bit of my senses, these moments in which everything seems beautiful and seems to be of a piece with each other, and all I want to do is somehow be able to capture, some day, these feelings.
These are sketches, notes, for that future day when magically I am going to suddenly have a surplus of time and be able to pursue these things, to pursue trying to write what it feels like to be driving along a highway in Delaware in late November with your family that you don't see too often and as your mom is talking about phonebooks, for a reason that you can't recall too clearly, and she is talking about how that's probably a business that could go away and no one would miss that much.
We were driving past a chemical plant, which Delaware seems to have a lot of, billows of gray smoke floating off into the just slightly less gray air, trees without leaves lining the roads. There were numerous self-storage places. I don't know how people have this much stuff to store, what it is that is stored in all these flat buildings. There was an old business shuttered, the business housed in a barn-shaped building.
The public radio news show playing in the background of the car was talking about street protests in Kiev, Ukrainians taking to the street, wanting to be a part of an EU trade agreement.
My mom found out right before my sister and I came that her hysterectomy was successful, that she currently had no traces of cancer left. Great news to start off Thanksgiving.
I watched a depressing romance - Celeste and Jesse Forever - that was incredibly beautiful and spot on about the shitty emotional games people in love with each other play. I tried not to cry in front of my family. I watched various episodes of Mob Wives with my family, my mom getting surprisingly into the show. Love, one of the wives, kept talking about stabbing people. I ate food and drank wine and thought about love and family and who it is I'll spend future Thanksgivings with and I thought about being alone and I thought about being happy and I thought about working in hotels and I thought about working in advertising and I thought about winning the lotto and I thought about feeling fulfilled and content and I thought about the idea of what it means to be a man, and more so, what it means to be a human.
And from the heated comfort of a car, I looked out on to bare trees lining the roadways connecting cities past their industrial prime along the Eastern Seaboard. Everything was there on those roadways, every clue you ever wanted about what it means to be alive.