A few weeks ago, my 2006 mac started acting strange. Of course I have it backed up. It finally shut down entirely. I haven't had a day in one place to get it fixed, so I bought a hard drive yesterday and youtubed the repair on my kitchen table. The backup will not restore. I'm flying to Amsterdam aware that I may have lost everything. Hundreds of thousands of words of a novel I'm working on. Journals. It's okay. Creativity abhors security. The forest needs a fire. I'm good with it. I know how the book goes.

I bought a suitcase and stuffed it with 220 CDs and all my clothes. My carry-on has a winter coat, gloves, boots, scarf, and the offending backup drive, in hopes that it will work after I threaten to flush it at 40,000 feet over Greenland.

At 11 today, we went to the fire station. It was awesome. The guys gave us a first class show, spraying water, extending the ladder on the truck, and dressing Mary up in all the gear. Rowan was scared and crying at first, and then finally crawling into places he shouldn't oughta go. On the way home, all he could say was, "T(r)uck."

At the airport. The suitcase was 4 pounds overweight. I somehow got three pairs of corduroys and two microphones in my carry-on and made weight. $60. Cheaper than shipping 220 CDs.

Rowan and Mary and I took the same elevator and escalators until we were all worn out. Okay, Rowan could have kept going. In security, my section of the belt looked like an assembly line at Foxconn. They tested my credit cards for bomb dust. They are dangerous, but not like that. The man behind lusted after my boots out loud. He had an unfamiliar accent and tortoiseshell glasses.

My favorite things about RDU are 1)even the TSA is friendly and 2)there's a used bookstore. How genius is that? I bought Cat's Cradle and Steppenwolf, and sold three of their Cormac McCarthy books to other customers. I sold All The Pretty Horses to the cashier, reading the "nation and ghost of nation" section to everyone in the bookstore out loud. It's not like me to be quite so outspoken, but she said she didn't like Cormac and I had to say to hell you don't, listen to this. She smiled when she knew she'd been beat.

I'm homesick already. Honestly, I spent the last two days terrified. Sick to my stomach. I can recreate the novel. Rowan will never be two again. I love you, buddy. I'll send you some songs after I redownload Audacity.