In the morning you drove

In the morning you drove across Colorado. Your upset stomach caught up with you in a mountain pass before Denver and when you sneezed in the thin heights you shat yourself and threw your underwear away in the pit toilet at a scenic overlook.
You drove through the tabletop of the country into central Kansas, determined not to be stuck in one geographic spot for longer than it took the sun to pass between clouds in the enormous sky, and stopped way off of the highway to camp at Tuttle Creek State Park. The campsite by the reservoir was quiet. Before setting up the tent you walked to the water next to the dam and skipped stones until your knees started to burn and then went back to set up his tent. The sky was plastered with a single cloud but the air was bright beneath the trees. There were two girls there. Their tent was already pitched and one was playing a guitar. They were about fifty feet from his car and they looked small. The wind was gathering into a mass. It filled the trees and the reservoir and hauled over the ground beneath the trees like a tide rushing. You cooked a can of beans directly on the camp stove in the shelter of the open car door and when one of the girls asked you to join them for dinner you declined and crawled into his tent. It was dark and the wind had greatness of an unseen bear. Wind in the dark, they are inseparable then. The tent leaned until its surfaces touched you in his sleeping bag and you thought about every time that you and he camped in the cold how he told you about camping in the Blue Hills outside of Boston, in the snow, and he slept in his underwear so that when he got up in the morning and put on his clothes he would have the warmth to look forward to. “Whoever told you that just wanted to see you in your underwear.” He thought he would die. The zipper didn’t work on the sleeping bag. It still didn’t.
You didn’t know where you were going. Kansas is the middle of the universe. You could feel it being drawn into the earth. From the middle you are equidistant to every final destination. You drove further east and made it to eastern Missouri. The next day you drove one thousand miles as it all fell away behind you.



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