It begins with an early wake-up call, a bowl of cereal, and the morning light in my kitchen washing softly across the pages of the book I’m reading.

It’s quiet and cool in the house, cool outside, the chairs on the deck wet with dew. The feel of a simple pair of GM keys in my hands. Driving the older car, the one I’ve tried to convince Kel to replace, the one with stickers on the back. Nothing high technology. Insert key. Turn. Hear the engine crank to life. Windows down to feel the cool air better. The takeoff down the highway; no body’s out yet but the yardsalers. It’s early. The transmission holds onto each gear forever before slipping into the next, the motor stretching a little bit as it awakens.

The rain has been good this year. The corn stands are tall and thick and green. You could hide an entire school of boys in one field and never even know they were there. The sun is pouring across the ridge now, spilling all over a barn. There’s an old farm truck in front of me, its motor burning rich. I can smell the gasoline through my open window, mixing with the dense air. They turned off the analog yesterday, but everything about this morning is frozen in time.

This is the kind of car that’s old enough, and this is the kind of place that’s small enough that I can leave the car with the keys in the ignition. Simple.

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