Some leaves are orange if you go up a bit higher than the rest. The classics have returned: “remix to ignition,” ELO and the Killers. My taste for mustard has returned. My knot-nomenclature has not. The semi-solid road fillings make our whole contraption bounce; open mouths follow suit, almost whispering this nondescript folk song. The west is peach and lights the cheeks of drivers-side sleepers. There are moments of severe, lip-biting, ear-ringing excitement for eating mush, snoozing in a synthetic bath of my own sweat, and spinning maps like tops on the fumes of daylight, solving safety puzzles. There are moments of dull, face-rubbing, teeth-grinding loathing for ankle-deep brooks, late-night giggles, and laying on hot rock in thinning air. Maybe my desire to rest in discomfort has gone too far. Maybe the chemicals in my brain have im/balanced. Maybe my desires have completed a kind-of magnetic flip. Maybe it’s the 14 degree declination.

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