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  • Stevie Ceruolo


Updated: Mar 3, 2021

Mila wonders why her position even exists anymore. Maybe it made some sense in more olden times, but now, just why? Shouldn’t we have computers do this by now? All she’s doing is walking around and looking at land, making sure it’s still there. She’ll draw some lines and make some marks and as long as those lines and marks were the same as the old lines and marks, everything was a-ok. Feels like a camera should be able to do that pretty good. Cameras don’t get tired. You want them to watch, and watch they will. What about maybe drones? Drones could do the trick. If drones can make so many lives worse on the other side of the world, why couldn’t a drone make one life easier on this side of the world. Hah. Mila always made herself laugh on these walks. It’s that type of joke that made her a real catch of a person. No one else was willing to go there but, for better or for worse, she was. More than willing, even. Some would say that her sole purpose in life was to make the wrong joke at just the right time. If you were to ask the United States government, however, they would say differently. They’d say that her purpose is to survey the lands of our great nation and maintain our borders. Jokes are jokes, they’d say. Good for a hobby, not for a purpose, they’d say, and Mila would probably agree with them on that general idea. Jokes are a lot, but they aren’t everything. She would start to differ around where they say that walking around in some forest with a wheel that clicks every so often, and some line and mark making tools, is a better purpose. She wonders if she could just lie about it, stay home and then tell them exactly what they want to hear. Yep It’s all still there. Every last rock and needle accounted for. But they’d probably track her. Oh, you thought you could outsmart our GPS satellite? Or the drone? We got you, Mila. We’ve always got you. Hah. Mila, always with a take.

She sat down on a rock. Mila liked to sit on rocks more than anything else. If you get comfortable on a rock, you’ve really earned it. She liked that. Comfort you had to work for. The rock was on top of a nice hill that gave her a decent view of the valley below. Over that way, north she guesses, over a river, was the border to Canada. You wouldn’t know it was there one way or the other, there’s not a big line or anything. There are signs, but it’s easy to miss them. They’re spread pretty thin. Mila only knew it was there because it was her job to know. She knew it, because if she didn’t know it, bad things could happen. Say she was a little less precise one day than another and, all of the sudden, these United States of America were a little smaller and Canada was a little bigger. Do you know how much would have to happen to correct a mistake like that? At least four people would have to die. So Mila knew that border better than just about anyone. Not because she had a penchant for borders. She just didn’t want to have to deal with the kind of attention and paperwork that would come with failing your country like that. Beyond that, though, she wondered what the point of it all was. She had never been across. She couldn’t find the time, and perhaps more importantly she couldn’t find a reason. It all seemed the same to her. Same air. Same trees. Same squirrels. If it all moved just a couple feet one way or the other, would anyone really care?


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