In Line


(On Line, for you East Coasters.)

I stopped at the Large Pharmacy to pick up two prescriptions before I leave town on Monday for the first stop, Grand Rapids, on Cancer Bitch's World Tour. I was in a hurry and there were three people in front of me. I arrived at the end of the line from the left while someone else arrived from the right. She was gracious and said I could go first. Since people were coming over in about 20 minutes, I accepted. She and her friend were talking about the grandfather of one of them. He's 88, widowed and went to a dance place. The announcer welcomed him, and two women asked him to dance. He took both of them out to dinner. His social life is better than mine, said the one who was his granddaughter. He and his wife had been in the competitive square dance circuit.

In elementary school was had square dance lessons every Friday in something called Rhythms for some reason. I remember the boys' sweaty palms and them holding on too tightly and jerking or pushing with their arms. I recall that we had a dance when we finished sixth grade and some kids didn't participate because they were Baptist. They couldn't play cards, either.

I paid a king's ransom for Wellbutrin XL because the insurance company hasn't accepted that the generic doesn't work. Believe me, it doesn't. My autumn was quite autumnal because of this.

Grand Rapids is known for Gerald Ford and Amway. I will be staying in the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel for two nights. On the third I get to stay in an old house that used to be a college president's residence.

The photo above is of the groundbreaking for the building where I'll be reading on Thursday.

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I am up at this ungodly hour because I have been wrassling with the ungodly National Endowment for the Arts fellowship application. It was designed to frustrate the prose writers of America and lead us further into despair. You have to submit the application online unless you can prove you live 30 miles away from internet service. Thus the application instructions contain such gems as this: "If it appears that your submission is not being successfully transmitted to Grants.gov (e.g., you do not receive a confirmation screen), it is possible that your application actually was submitted.... An application may not be submitted successfully for a number of reasons, such as heavy usage on the Grants.gov system or security settings on your computer or your firewall." The government is trying to make the writers of this country go stark raving mad.

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