KEILLOR: A trip back in time to New York City

Slight panic in the airport out in Texas. Waiting to check a bag, pull out my billfold, no driver’s license. Check pockets, briefcase. Credit cards, no license. The brain flutters. Hotel? Taxi? Pickpocket? A teen terrorist from Izvestistan perhaps, trying to persuade TSA he is 75 and from Anoka, Minnesota? How about dementia? Loss of license today, tomorrow can’t conjugate “lay” and “say,” next day my wife’s name is missing along with the three branches of government. OK. License found. In jacket pocket. I head for TSA, resuming my life as a Midwestern author, husband, father. Never mind that I checked that very pocket three times thoroughly. I’m OK. OK? Life is precarious. So much depends on a small card with a grim picture of me on it. Lose it and I become flotsam, a fugitive, stateless, displaced. Sobering. So I got on a plane to New York and when I disembarked my faithful iPhone was dead and wouldn’t recharge and suddenly it was olden times again when you look around for a payphone and newsboys shout the headlines on the street corner and you get on an elevator and an attractive woman asks you for a light. And when a meteorite is headed straight for Gotham, Clark Kent steps into a phone booth to change into his Superman outfit and deflect the thing into Long Island Sound. I spent a whole day with no cellphone and it gave me the feeling of being in a foreign country, out of… [Read full story]

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