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.

Christmas Eve in Kentucky

Sometimes a Waffle House is a home.

Rapid City

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.


“What time is checkout?” she asked. The clerk shrugged. “Whenever the hell you feel like it.” She gave him a fake name. No reason except it felt good to lie. An old noir flickered on the old black-and-white in the corner, Out of the Past from ’47 with Robert Mitchum’s hangover eyes and Jane Greer’s Mona Lisa smile. They watch the roulette wheel spin. She asks if there is a way to win and Robert Mitchum tells her there’s only a way to lose more slowly.

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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