That evening, we leave the city. As the lights dwindle and vanish, the highway ahead illuminated by a desert moon bright enough to cast shadows, something inside of me unwinds. Brain fog clears, and my limbs begin to work again. We drive and drive until there’s nothing but sand and sagebrush and the lonesome call of a nighthawk. Hannah clambers straight from the driver’s seat to the bed, unconscious before I have time to move. She possesses the enviable talent of falling asleep high or caffeinated or parked on a forty-five-degree incline next to a freight line. I am restless. Full moons do that, exert this inexorable pull, charge me with a kind of madness. I step out into the clear night air and begin to walk, leaping over shadows. A rabbit jackknifes out of the undergrowth and I shoot about a foot in the air, then come down laughing. Somewhere, a coyote casts its wistful howl to the crisp-edged sky.
“Hello!” I shout. The desert swallows my voice. There’s one hell of a lot of nothing out here, a mere three hours from the teeming mass of something that is LA. It’s peaceful. I feel alive.