November 10 Norm

"HEY MAN, DID YOU SEE ACTION?" Pretty girl, blonde, in a hazy bright sky. Freckles leap up on her the surface of her cheeks, embrace my eyes. She has an armful of leaflets with blurry pictures: burning huts, burned babies. I search around the base of the tree trunk but nothing is missing. There are no suitable distractions.

First fresh human contact in a while, been so blitzed in books. I want to cry. There's no saying why I have stayed so convinced, until she in an instant breaks the rapture, that I am a
ghost walking among my old American strangers and friends--or why it has actually worked that way so seamlessly until now. Nobody speaks to me until Miss Sunkissed, in a flush of courage or recklessness, puts a hand right through the plastic bubble and touches a shoulder of stone. A tear springs to my dry eye and brings the statue back to life. "You poor thing," she says.

pssst. . .sign the guestbook!