The Highways of America

Melancholy Stations

An ongoing series dedicated to the beauty of the midnight interstate, the pump islands and motor lodges glowing on the horizon like sanctuaries from the chaos of the three o’clock in the morning mind.

Somewhere in Arkansas

I stood in line at the Gas ‘n Go behind a furious man with a pistol tucked into the elastic waistband of his sweatpants, yelling that the cashier only gave him three Powerball tickets when he should’ve gotten four.

Christmas Eve in Kentucky

Sometimes a Waffle House is a home.

Rapid City, South Dakota

He found salvation in a pool of light twenty-three miles east of Rapid City.

Highway 51, Missouri

She had a perpetually pissed-off supervisor who told her to quit digging for her rock bottom.

Montana

“What time is checkout?” I asked. The clerk shrugged. An old noir flickered on the old black-and-white in the corner, Out of the Past from ’47 with Robert Mitchum’s hungover eyes and Jane Greer’s Mona Lisa smile. They watched the roulette wheel spin. She asked if there was a way to win and Mitchum told her there’s only a way to lose more slowly.

Midnight in Brooklyn

You could find her near the pump island at the gas station, singing broken torch songs for anyone who might listen.

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