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Property Line, Athens, Ohio © Jim Korpi

“Why is it some of the older men we know seem grumpy and some just happy to be alive?” I ask a friend in the shade of the kitchen.
It’s painfully hot outside and the air damp.
His skin is speckled with hay stuck to his face and bare arms, and his hair resembles a bird’s nest. His shirt is plastered to his chest as if he swam with it on.
The loft in the barn is now full and ready for the coming winter.
He takes a minute to think and swallow a quart jar of water.
“I think it’s just what they did for a living. Some people had it easy, some hard.”

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The Park, Milan, Italy © Jim Korpi

“I hope to spend three days in Washington,” the tourist said of her itinerary to the United States with a heavy Australian drawl. “I want to see the Forest Gump bench and the Legally Blonde Lincoln Statue.”

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Resurrecturis, Codogno, Italy © Jim Korpi

We could hear him at night snoring through the thick cement walls. It was almost comforting, the soft rhythmic vibrations, but peculiar to fall asleep to the breathing of a neighbor you have only said hello to in the entryway but who lives and sleeps just a few feet away.
He would come home from an afternoon at the bar and play Pink Floyd on the stereo and sing along to it in a different key.
His apartment has been silent for a week. No snoring, no music.
The police arrived on Wednesday and found him dead on the other side of the wall separating his apartment from ours.
His black cat, who we nicknamed Bianca, continues to meow outside in front of his closed front door.

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Fracking My Home © Jim Korpi

I am not sure where it is I come from, where my great grandfather called home, but soon I will return home.
What home is, again, I’m not sure, and I am finding it hard to explain to others. It doesn’t seem to be a place you want to draw on a map or wrap in the colors of a flag.
But it seems to be the place one feels the closest to one’s self.

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Evolution, Milan, Italy © Jim Korpi

Hiking, Giacamo thought as he stepped up the granite stairs of the mountain, is a metaphor for life. Cooking, for him is metaphor for sex. He has many theories, but this philosophy of his on hiking is firm.
The mountain climb is a long one. His destination is a bivouac at 2100 meters, a crude shelter of three wooden walls and a corrugated steel roof where he will cook his dinner and soon after sleep.
The pace he has set for himself is his own slow rhythm. His feet move at a tempo set by the thudding heartbeat in his chest, like the large gear of a clock.
A man passes quickly on his right, in a slight jog, with white earmuffs blazing a rapid-beat music one hears in an aerobics class.
Hiking, Giacamo reassures himself, is a metaphor for life.

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