A year later, and I’m up at dawn again on the longest day. Last time it was driving you to a job you tried so hard to like. This time, it’s me, delivering papers in the limbo between yesterday and today. The date on the front page is tomorrow in my mind because I haven’t slept, but today hasn’t started until someone steps out onto their front porch and picks up this carefully rubber-banded scroll.
It’s not summer break but an economic layoff with no definite return, and I try not to think too much about how it sounds when people ask what I’m doing these days and I say excitedly, “I have a paper route,” as if I’m some golden-age TV kid who’s waiting to hang out with Wally and The Beav. A few months ago when people asked, I could say, “I teach writing at the college.” Like that means anything. But people seem to think it does.