Mason City. To get there you follow Highway 58 going northeast out of the city, and it is a good highway and new. Or was new, that day we went up it. You look up the highway and it is straight for miles, coming at you, with the black line down the center coming at you and at you, black and slick and tarry-shining against the white of the slab, and the heat dazzles up from the white slab so that only the black line is clear, coming at you with the whine of the tires, and if you don’t quit staring at that line and don’t take a few deep breaths and slap yourself hard on the back of the neck you’ll hypnotize yourself and you’ll come to just at the moment when the right front wheel hooks over into the black dirt shoulder off the slab, and you’ll try to jerk her back on, but you can’t because the slab is high like a curb, and maybe you’ll try to turn off the ignition just as she starts to dive. But you won’t make it, of course.
- The opening lines from All the King’s Men. I have this text on my mind. Good writing is life affirming.