I finish this piece at 40,000 feet above Nagoshima. Yes, I’m returning to Asia, and in fact, my wife and I are preparing to move back to Vietnam permanently. When you reject the system, it will gladly return the favor, thus my two new books have only gotten one nasty review, from that pompous font of endless bullshit, the Washington Post.
Just three miles from Camden, Palmyra has two old timey barber shops, a homey Sicilian restaurant, a spacious, porch-fronted bar surrounded by grass, and a most creative donut shop that dreams up treats resembling a Thanksgiving turkey, a mound of dirt with a glow worm or a shark fin sticking out of blue water, etc. With one tenth the population of Camden, Palmyra has a much better stocked supermarket. Outside a hardware store, a horse statue stands in front of a buggy. As is common to any blue-collar town, the Stars Spangled Banner is found all over, including at the Mexican-owned garage and Indian-owned convenience store. A small artillery piece sits on Broadway.
Unlike in Camden, no Palmyra store owner needs to stare at customers from behind bullet-proof plexiglass. Last year, there was no murder or rape. Filthy junkies with rotting teeth don’t prostitute themselves even in the afternoon.
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