Running on the highway I’m menaced by flatbed trucks with their militant three-pointed emblem (third row down, third one over) which looks like the Mercedes logo translated into Klingon. The trolleycars whoosh by, the straight-and-narrow living denizens of the road. I have a run-up of 24 hours and 20 miles in the enormous arc to intersect precisely with and bump gently against somebody on the bus on Monday morning. On Friday and Saturday nights I like to practice trying to become a quintaped, but somehow I never quite make it. I once saw a biographical note in a book which went something like: “So-and-so is currently standing behind a clock.” I’m not sure if I’ve ever stood behind a clock, so if I used this I would no doubt be publicly humiliated and reprimanded by Oprah, but I have frequently hid behind time. In the midst of my orderly society I feel like some kind of messy, disorganized Mediterranean culture that brags about having poets rather than jobs and is only intermittently pulled together by the spasm of some internal fascist regime.

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