Midwestern Robot

Strangers on a train

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After 10 years of no contact, I’ve run into Crystal twice inside 10 days. The second time was this morning, on the train. She got on at Rockwell, dragging a big rolling backpack and a portfolio or something and a purse. I watched her, smiling at the sight of her settling herself and her stuff […]

Midwestern Robot

Longing for normal

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Always and everywhere. I keep longing for normal, like I’m saving up rewards points. Dave says, “Why waste time on normal, what I want is extraordinary.” He’s probably right, but the normal I long for will feel extraordinary. I know it. I can’t articulate the feeling, but I know it will be tangible and complete. […]

Midwestern Robot

The peculiar sadness of my potato cookbook

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I was making potato salad for a bbq. I’ve never made potato salad before, but when I asked what I could bring, Syd said, “Maybe potato salad?” “Sure.” I got a recipe from a potato cookbook my mom had given me. She’d found it at a yard sale. There was a Christmas card in it, […]

Midwestern Robot

My Almost Friendship with a British or Maybe Even Australian Woman

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I was at HarvestTime, the smallish and wonderfully stocked and also extremely reasonable grocery store where everyone in our neighborhood, from Viking stoves to WIC cards, loves to shop. Fresh and diverse produce, good organics, surprising treats like warm squares of spanakopita and fresh dolmades. So it’s Sunday afternoon, so of course it’s crowded. I’ve […]