We’re on that train that’s going by in the distance, confined to its track like a blood fluke to a vein. Instead of blood, it feeds on boredom — a green blur. We stop at stations just long enough to read the advertisements and gaze at the litter. One hoarding for a summer movie reads: “How do you catch a serial killer if he’s invisible?” Another, for a bank, promises no card tricks. In the Quiet Carriage, phones vibrate in bags and pockets like cicadas struck dumb by thirst. You picture all this from the seat of a combine harvester, spiraling toward the center of a field of wheat.

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).

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