“Living on the road, my friend, was gonna keep you free and clean…” --Townes Van Zandt, “Pancho and Lefty”Anyone who’s spent time on the road knows that Townes was full of shit. Life on the road metes out its tortures at a high price and with ever increasing filth. An unapologetic panorama of rude people, ugly buildings, and ruinous food.
Companions make it not one bit easier. The road is unkind to individuals, but it is downright sadistic to the herd. One by one, your roadmates will turn on each other. After spending a short time on the road, you no longer wonder why the Rolling Stones all hate one another. Now you marvel that Mick hasn’t killed Keef in his sleep.
Do not panic. This is to be expected. After all, the road hates you. As Wallace pointedly put it: I know you’re paranoid, but are you paranoid enough? Eventually, the road will bring each member of your party to his limit. Each will tell you how the others are driving him mad. They will say the same about you when you’re asleep. You will grow sympathetic to the Donner Party.
This is especially true if your road leads into the American West, where each step the cracks the earth, knocking up dust of triumph and genocide. Especially Texas, which appears to be a sociological experiment testing the upper limits of cash, sprawl, and beef.
In such environs, it’s devastating to think of home and its comforts, but what else is there? You watch football for the same reason prisoners walk the yard.