. . . Maybe it was a good thing that we left Sweetwater, where the world was so much what it was for me that I never thought of its danger, never could separate its danger from the whole of it. Of course I remember the big Cottonmouth. And I remember earning fifty cents for cleaning out the bark and old newspapers from a squatter's woodshed, when another boy and I uncovered more than twenty scorpions . . . But so far as these and a few other images stand out to me now, as if they had been warnings, they are fictitious. For at the time they were part of a current, a current so strong that, if we had not left that house on the edge of the Everglades, maybe one day I would have gone out into the swamp and not come back. And sometimes years later I have thought that it would have been a good place not to come back from, the best place.
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July 20, 2005
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