Magazine September 19, 2011, Issue

Trailer Park

(Matteo Lavazza Seranto/Getty Images)

A black bounded space. Longer than wide, wider than tall. Tilted. Distant red lights: possible ways out. A colorless shine, paler, marks a stepped, uphill pathway. Side trails lead off it into the darkness, but they are narrow, almost booby-trapped: You bark your shins, catch your toes as you sidle along. Sometimes your shoe sticks to something underfoot. If you have come with a companion, you grab her hand. When you stop finally, you fall onto a scratchy, angled surface that rocks a little. Now your hands feel hard, cold, ring-like holes; if you brought something to moisten your lips,

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A review of Tension City: Inside the Presidential Debates, from Kennedy–Nixon to Obama–McCain, by Jim Lehrer.

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