It is shocking, really, to see so many things untouched. That is not even the right phrase. I think it is: To see so much cared for, maintained, respected. Montana & North Dakota were breathtaking. My cell phone stopped working. For miles & miles it was green. The Badlands, the silos & barns. The cattle & horses. No billboards. & I didn't even realize that's what it was until we made our way into Minneapolis & a pink moon rose over St. Cloud & our windshield was battered by mosquitoes, so much so that we had to pull over & wash them off because we could no longer see. & suddenly the same old landscape: Billboards & fast food chains, the same signs of the same wounds we have been running away from appear again & St. Cloud is no different than Motel Drive or 16th & Imperial or South Nashville or West Sacramento, because the sickness is everywhere in this country & in this culture & I am tired of fighting it. & I am not wrong & I am not crazy, there is something eating @ us & devouring us & we are too fucking blind & corrupt & stupid to see it. Maybe that is easier...because Love takes work & it is painful. The thing that is constantly on my mind & the thing that is nagging @ me is how do I protect it? & how do I keep it? & I realize there is nothing I can do. Once I start down that road I have already lost. I am wandering around with flying saucers for eyeballs & I am alone again. So...thank you Montana & thank you North Dakota, all is not lost & that is a trap in my mind, I don't have to chew my leg off to get out anymore. I am already free & the easiest thing to do is breathe.