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She looked out the window at the road. What the hell was she signing up for? A life moving up and down that road, or one like it, following a story, or a band, or some egomaniacal movie star?

Is that what she really wanted? Or had she always just thought she did?

That was bogus. Of course she wanted it. The whole life: the road, the late nights, all of it. Hell, she’d already bought the Hunter S. Thompson sunglasses to hide her bloodshot eyes.

This story had better sell, she thought. She had enough money for a couple more tanks of gas in the Vega, and a few meals if she ate cheap — like this crummy coffee shop in Boise. It was already September 2, 1983 — too late to enroll for another semester at State, and freelancing was the only job she loved. She’d wait tables again if she had to. But someplace new, not back where it had happened. Not with him there. Never again, dammit.

Things had to come together. It just HAD to. Dylan, the guy from the FM radio station promised her an interview with Bob Weir, maybe even Jerry, if he was feeling okay that day. (Christ — that’s today!) And Jenny promised to get the story in front of her friend who’s an editor at The Rolling Stone. Or was it her friend’s brother? Something like that. She had the Yashica camera she’s swiped from her step-father, so she could maybe even get some photos. Those would sell, too. It had to work. The Dead were still hot, people still cared about the music, right?

This was going to be fine. Maybe even get a staff reporter gig at The Rolling Stone. With a per diem and everything. Then she’d own that road, and it wouldn’t be so scary anymore.

Jerry Nelson, thanks for the writing prompt — this was fun. Cheers.