1. the thing about traveling alone is that nobody else knows what you’ve seen. i can’t say to anyone, “dude, remember when we went to the badlands?” because nobody was with me except maude, and she doesn’t usually respond to my questions. “dude, remember when you sat in the backseat of the car on my coat for three hours?” nothing.
2. my car’s been so good on this trip that i worry it’s deliberately lulling me into a false sense of security. then, when i’m on a small country road with no shoulder and no cell phone reception, BAM! flat tire. busted whatsit. since this occurred to me, i’ve become suspicious of my own car. in gas stations and motel parking lots, i stare at it with narrowed eyes.