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A Piece of My Mind
December 20, 2006

A Long Time Ago

Author Affiliations

A Piece of My Mind Section Editor: Roxanne K. Young, Associate Editor.

JAMA. 2006;296(23):2777-2778. doi:10.1001/jama.296.23.2777

It's dusk by the time the jet nears my hometown. The sun, hanging low to the west, casts long shadows over the crazy quilt of farmland that surrounds the city below. The fields are flat—as level as an ironing board—and dotted with clusters of farmhouses, barns, outbuildings, burr oaks. The plane catches an air hole and my suitcase in the overhead compartment jostles with the bounce. Inside my bag are black pants, black shirt, and black shoes, as I figured I might be attending a funeral.

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