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First commute

May 6, 2015

I am on my way to my first day of work at 7 a.m. I drive toward white columns of smoke towering in the distant blue. Fire is burning the field on my right black, right up to the edge of the road where creosote guard rail posts are aflame. In the field about 50 feet away a fence post has burnt all but a 6-inch section hanging by its wire staple on the barb wire. Over the crest of the next hill someone has left a pile of 4 dead horses on the edge of the highway. I wonder if they were killed by the range fire. I have 40 miles to go. I leave the range fire behind me but I am drawing closer to the towering smokes to the east.
I spend that night in a government house, sleeping on the carpet on my sleeping bag, sweating from the August heat. I look outdoors into the darkness. Looks like big flakes of snow beneath the lone streetlight. I plug in an electric fan I find in the basement.
The next day an immense man everyone calls Rabbit cleans a kitchen sink at work. He asks me how I like the town. I reply that I love it, that I think it is beautiful. He does not smile, but looks sideways at me.
“What religion are you,” he asks.

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