things I’m trying to remember

1. How happy I was to cross the Texas state line into New Mexico. As soon as I saw the sad, weathered welcome sign, I couldn’t stop smiling.

2. How scary it was to drive on I-10 through San Gorgino Pass, windy as hell and terribly beautiful. I could barely keep my car from flying off the road, but I couldn’t stop staring at the windmills.

3. What it felt like in Wyoming, on top of the clouds.

4. How funny it was when “I Am a Rock” came up on my iPod when i drove through the Badlands.

5. How I could barely see through the windshield when I drove through that storm in Mississippi. My sister called and I said, “I’ll have to call you back, unless I die first.”

6. How I must have looked on the final night of my trip, on the patio at the Harp in Houston,when it really hit me that I’d set out to do this and had done it, and done it successfully, and Freddy said, “I’ve never seen that look on your face before.”

I was going to complain that real life is making it hard for me to remember these things, but that’s not really true. No, I can remember them whenever I want, and sometimes the remembering is almost as vivid as the experiences themselves. What real life interferes with is the writing. How can I reconcile what I did with what I’m doing right now? Montana and Vermont and Wyoming and Louisiana can’t coexist in my brain with driving to the office with my mug of coffee, or eating leftovers at my desk for lunch, or doing laundry or dishes or paying my bills.

I don’t know how to do this.