between flights
Pant, pant, gasp. We were down in Carbondale at the great Salukis' campus. When you drive south far enough, Illinois starts to look like Tennessee. Well, you know, that's where the glaciers stopped flattening out the carpet, and the weave started to bunch up and make pretty hills. Corn fields give way to hardwoods. Lakes, rivers and hawks. I sweat through my clothes twice. Who knew that talking to people was such a full-contact sport. Another good crowd. Lots of books sold again. Blessings shower down like the blinding rain storms that made the road disappear.

Supper with students and the chancellor. He was bustin' some juicy job offers. What do you think? Go down to the land of deer and Fall leaves and buffalo farms and eagles? He even bribed Chayo--they have an equestrian program. "You can have a horse!" he said. What a dirty trick!

We left at about 5:00 this morning. Drove up here almost the entire length of Illinois. Got here in time to do the "Think" radio show on Dallas NPR. It was really, really good. Great, even. I'm hoping the young woman who called in to tell me my poem "Ghost Sickness" changed her life reads this. Send me an email!

I know I said I wasn't going to have time blog, but I just wanted to tell you it's going well out there. I'm showered and packed and much richer than I was last week and depressed as hell. It's weirdly lonesome and alien in the big world. Been touring since 1992--I feel like that grizzled bar band playing "Freebird" and "Love Hurts." That seen-it-all blues guitarist. Would like to stay home. Can't stay home. Can't believe so many people want to talk to me.

I'm doing my best. God bless every one. (And God bless the Latina women--they get those cameras working at every stop. I've been photographed over and over hugging mujeres muy bonitas. "I'm putting this on my Facebook" a young woman told me last night. It isn't book tour, it's 27 senior proms!) Cinderella laughs.

But she isn't going. Just me. Still, I have reached the strange and wonderful time in a career when I have pals at every stop, so there will be many reunions out there.

However, just between you and me, I'd stay home with the fam and the dogs and the cat and the plants if I could.

I'm off to the airport. Have many miles to go before I sleep. I'll be thinking of you.

Loyally, L

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