Four-hundred-seventy-three miles left to go. I'm driving through piss-yellow grassland so parched it would take only a spark to ignite into a full-blown wildfire. If it does, there's nowhere to go. It's grass, grass, and more grass until there isn't. Beneath the only tree for miles, a herd of horses crowd together seeking respite from the heat.
Along the horizon, mountain ranges spread out their impressive bulk. For all their harsh angles, there is a quiet harmony to their shape: one's crest in between another's dip, each in the shelter of another's shadow.
Red Dead Redemption's soundtrack comes on:
"Step in front of a runaway train Just to feel alive again Pushing forward through the night, Aching chest and blurry sight It's so far, so far away It's so far, so far away" —Far Away by José González
I am John Marston riding across Mexico. Just me and Horse. When the wind kicks up from the south, it brings along the sharp smell of an oncoming thunderstorm. I shift in my saddle. Horse tosses his head. His strides lengthen into a steady bada-bada-bada that cuts through the oppressive stillness in the air.
The music switches to another playlist. I sip my iced soy latte, and I'm back in the driver's seat. No leather. No horse. Air-conditioner cranked to high.
Just four-hundred-seventy-two miles left to go.