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The world Laura made looks a lot like your world. It has cornfields and mustard. There are lizards and trees. There are robots and candles. It has ice cream and bees.

It looks like your world, from the outside, at least; like if you’re from Chicago. And you see the skyline on a T-shirt or poster. You say, I know that skyline. That’s my hometown.

And wherever your hometown happens to be—Chicago or Springfield or Kankakee—you have relatives there. Family. Kin. You say, those are my people. Those are my peeps.

Laura has people. She has parents, at least. No brothers or sisters. For which Laura is glad.

Laura lives in her own little world. And she sees your world the way you see a skyline. Like if you’re from Chicago, and you see the skyline of Boston. You say, I know that skyline. I went to a Celtics game once.

The world Laura made is a patchwork affair, where colors are feelings and memories are scents, and Laura tried once to live in your world. She threw herself in it. Plop. Splat.

But that doesn’t work, and the reason that doesn’t work is this: whether you’re from Chicago, or Boston, Kankakee, St. Moritz—something tethers you. You are rooted, and you are connected to others by roots. You feel the ax if it chops at the tree.

You see them in airports, waiting for relatives, family, kin. Their people arrive. There’s a look on their face. The roots re-connect, they cry and they kiss, and it moves something in you to watch them embrace.

Laura has roots, but the roots don’t connect her; not to people, at least. No one runs through the airport to give Laura a kiss. For which Laura is glad.

In the world she constructed, colors and sounds mean much more than people. The crunch scissors make on the fabric store table. The yellow sky just after the storm.

Laura lives in her own little world. A world she built, like a diorama. It has cornfields and peas. Hot chocolate and sandals. It has gumdrops and pompoms. Ice cream and bees.

The world Laura made looks like yours, in some ways. Whether you’re from the Southside or Boston’s Back Bay.

But there is a difference, for which Laura is glad; you feel the ax if it chops at your tree, and Laura feels nothing—

it cuts Laura free.

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