What was it you wanted he calls out the door as I walk toward his house, which tilts uphill. I just wanted to ask, I start to say — but he cuts me off, tells me he doesn’t talk to strangers, says that I should go away. I tell him I like his old car, I name the year and model, and soon he is shaking my hand, inviting me in for home-brewed beer. After my second and his who-knows- how-many-pints, he tells me he’s ready for the government when they come. He takes me down to the cellar, filled With enough food for years, calendars for the coming one, enough water for about a month. He shows me the vegetables he’s growing under lights, but I can’t see them. I swirl out the door like the windmills we watched from his den, ten spinning, one broken. I stand in his driveway and feel them, their slow whipping roar. The town’s elevation is unmatched, except by a few of its people, higher than kites from the slogans they write on the outside of their dwellings, which no wind has managed to blow down
Imagine you're on Mars, looking at earth, a swirl of colors in the distance. Tell us what you miss most, or least. Let your feelings rise to the surface. Skim that surface with a tiny net. Now you're getting the hang of it. Tell us your story slantwise, streetwise, in the disguise of an astronaut in his suit. Tell us something we didn't know before: how words mean things we didn't know we knew.