Exit 52

May 26, 2014

For months now
Everyone in Pittsburgh has been obsessed
with the bald eagles.

The eagles chose to nest along one of the rivers
and then some organization put up a
camera, so people could
--and they do--
watch the eagles 24/7.

My grandma,
who just recently got a new computer
(because her last was too ancient
to load YouTube videos),
updates me every time I see her
on what the bald eagles are up to
Then when
inevitably
some stranger at the book store
tells me about what the bald eagles are up to,
my fake conversation
is that much more convincing.

I never cared much about the bald eagles.

---

L and I were on a road trip
to Ithaca, New York,
made possible by generous work holidays
for Memorial Day.

We talked about the bald eagles
and how everyone seemed to care
except us

The car broke down on the highway
and we were just barely able to pull over
on a long straight exit ramp.
Steam poured out from under the hood,
and burning coolant made a sweet smell
not dissimilar to artificial maple syrup.

We waited on the shoulder of the exit ramp
in the early summer sun
without so much as a radio (because
the car, also, wouldn't start),
for a tow truck that would take us back home
while we make awkward conversation
with the truck driver
on the bench seat in the cab of his truck.

While my knee was crammed up against
the gear shift (which required constant use),
he told us about his love for the job
and about his family's health problems
and about his 7-year-old granddaughter
who was a psychic
and could talk to dead people
and the church thinks she's talking to angels.
But he doesn't believe in any of that stuff.

We waited on the shoulder of the exit ramp
from 9:00 am till 12:30 pm.

We were two hours out of Pittsburgh,

in a town called Bald Eagle, PA.
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