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Greetings from Durham, NC (1)

I drove five hours or so last night to get here. I brought my bike and today I've been rolling around town a little bit.

I lived here for most of the time between 1991 and 1995. It's odd how things can be at once familiar and strange. I say to myself, "there used to be a burger joint here ..." and "what happened to 'Books do Furnish a Room,' even the building is gone." "I remember this street." Riding around the Duke campus I whisper to myself: "I used to teach in that building," "I sat in on a Latin class there," "I had an office in the basement of this one." "Now how did I get to my apartment from here? I remember a parking lot, and now there's a building."

So last night, around eleven, I saw that some Mexicans were selling tacos from a trailer next door to my hotel. I wanted a beer, so I asked the lady how far to a convenience store, she says five minutes in your car. I said I feel like walking. I was there and back with my beer in a half hour. I bought three tacos which I devoured in my hotel room before crashing. On the walk I saw a Chinese restaurant that we used to go to. In fact I'm quite sure that the owners adopted the brothers and sisters of Shumi, our cat that died a year or so ago. I wonder if the same people are running the restaurant.

On Ninth street I met a couple of Hasidic Jews; they asked me if I was Jewish. I said no, and asked them if they were Jehova's Witnesses.

I went to the yuppie grocery store and bought some expensive salami and goat cheese. There's a fridge in my hotel room.

I'm here to use the Duke library. Back to work.

The domed building is the auditorium on Duke's East Campus. I once shared an office with an Italian woman in the basement. I saw John Zorn's Masada play there, with Dave Douglas and Joey Baron; also saw Marcus Roberts there. Some days from East Campus you could smell the tobacco toasting.



October 2018



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