I don’t remember who the girl next to me is, but I hope she’s still a horsegirl.

The Free State of Winston

(in a southern accent)

That’s where I was born. I’ve been clinging to the fact that I lived in the one county in Alabama that did NOT secede from the Union since I was five years old and learned about slavery for the first time.

So how did a very conservative, religious smalltown football coach and an equally conservative and religious middle school English teacher conceive the piece of liberal trash you’re reading about? This is a question that still eludes my parents to this day. Of course, I couldn’t escape all of the beliefs and convictions my parents tried to instill in me: I’m very skeptical of the government, no matter who’s in office; I can sing along to a lot of Toby Keith songs; and I believe you have to work really fucking hard to get what you want in life.


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Mark