New York, my favorite left-behind lover, it’s just like before, but different. I will never be the person I was before I drove across the whole continent to get to you. I had to know who I needed to be in order to do this. I came all this way and now I don’t even know what to tell you.

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I had to find a way to keep moving. I needed a focus, to keep my eyes on the road. Funny, I never even liked driving that much. I’m hopeless with maps and directions and lane changing and terms like northeast.

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Yesterday I drove across the entire state of West Virginia. Inspired by my visit to Graceland, I listened to Elvis for 300 miles. It was a nice change. For most of this trip (and the last two years) I’ve been listening to the same fifty-four songs on a playlist I might be done with.

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There are 12 parking garages in the vicinity of this restaurant. What did you see in Nashville? Parking lots, many. When the girl at the counter gave me number 24 I nodded, I tend to do this now when the numbers or names or signs align.

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When I drove into Memphis I didn’t know it was the weekend of the Beale Street Music Festival. I didn’t know that everyone in Memphis plus a hundred thousand other people would be there. I immediately had no interest in going.

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This is the Survivor Tree. This tree withstood the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people, injured 680 others and destroyed 324 buildings and 86 cars. When I arrived I was the only person at the memorial.

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This was a mistake. I wrote “real” when I meant to write “true.” Someone told me to always own my mistakes. I was upset because one of my first publications had a mistake in it. We were sitting on the floor because he didn’t have furniture in his new apartment.

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This road is long. I’m trying to make every mile count. I’ve learnt it takes more energy to resist feelings than to just go ahead and feel them. I’m trying to put this into practice. I’m doing this between stopping to snap pictures of Route 66 signs and locating gas station bathrooms.

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Jennifer ChardonComment

I can share the most beautiful scenery but so much of driving across the country actually looks like this. I’m alone in a cheap motel room with almost no natural light. The traffic outside is loud. The heater is either 80 or ice.

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Jennifer ChardonComment

I couldn’t skip this cliché. Come on, four places at one time? For someone who always wants to be everywhere, this is my jam. The monument is seriously remote. It was windy and the restroom doors didn’t lock.

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Jennifer ChardonComment

Where are you going? Why? How far is it? Why again? I keep getting asked so many questions. These are not the sort of questions my life has even been able to answer. There is a famous line in a traditional Navajo blessing: In beauty may I walk.

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Jennifer ChardonComment