a drive from southeastern colorado to asheville, north carolina in two full days of daylight with some hours into the night ends like this. the day before, after having slept under the visible milky way, we woke up next to a landscape of mountainous sand dunes beside the rocky mountains in colorado, drove the car through new mexico, the barren landscape of the texas panhandle, and through the evening into oklahoma. the night before this photo was taken, we had slept in the car at a rest stop on the border of oklahoma and arkansas - 85 degrees fahrenheit at 2AM with 97% humidity - it was hell. at one point in the morning when the sun was already up and baking the black sedan, i woke up with my grease-shined face pressed against the back window to a man glaring at me as he sat parked in the space next to us - his eyes never left my face, and i just looked at him for a few moments, confused. he reversed, then parked next to another car for about 30 seconds even though most of the lot was available, and then left. i fell back asleep until a fly landed on my face. the first words i uttered out of my mouth this day were, “get me the fuck out of oklahoma.”
truck stop breakfast after sleeping in a 2006 subaru legacy for the night. our waitress, sam, moved from central california to south dakota for a guy - he dumped her shortly after her arrival. when we asked what happens in mitchell, sam told us someone was murdered or shot at her apartment complex the night before. all of the waitresses thought we were adorable. artsy city slickers in a nowhere truck stop. a trucker was excited to talk to miles about how he grinds his own coffee beans - miles let him have his moment. a disgruntled trucker plopped down on a seat, asked without greeting, “you have real butter yet?” and stormed out without a word after hearing “margarine.” on our way from lake michigan to the badlands. we couldn’t believe it was only day three of three weeks. how the hell did we get here? how many times can we hear, “ya know?” in a single morning?