Greensboro, NC -- August 21, 2007

Before arriving in Greensboro, NC at 8:30 in the morning--after a trip that had begun at 3:30 the afternoon in Charleston, SC the day before--I had been scolded by security for sleeping on the floor of a bus station and worried about the amount of swelling in my ankles from not spending enough time horizontal. Is this normal? I would ask people. I was concerned about the physical toll the trip was taking on my body.

Hence, I was in a really picky mood, which is how I managed to find the perfect breakfast. The owner of a stationery store (after he showed me everything in pickiness had no limits) suggested a coffee shop--don't drink coffee; suggested a bakery--don't eat sweets; suggested a bagel shop--don't feel like carbs. I felt like protein. And grease. And okra. And that is how I made it to Smith’s, a restaurant that Bill Clinton once ate at. Presidential food for under ten bucks, and that’s including a twenty percent tip.

When my belly was full, I walked through town on a day so hot it was news.

I did pretty good with drinking enough water, walking all over town. The sun was really intense and, at times, my skin felt like it was burning up, especially the skin on the backs of my calves. I slathered on sunscreen at every corner and as I ventured onward, I discovered that my trip was not in vain. Signs proclaimed:

Eventually I found someplace that I felt like I belonged that was inside. I went to the library and a history museum where I got to sit at O. Henry's desk! His grade school desk, that is. One could argue that I don't belong there, but after all my toiling in the sun, I really didn't want to leave.

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