You remember Utah, and how the mountains were reflected in the pale mirror of the salt flats, and how the salt flats were reflected in the pale mirror of the sky, and how the road, with nowhere else to go, was reflected into itself. You remember exiting onto the lonely stretch of concrete and tar that was I-13 as you made your way towards Reno, sleepless and broiled, your own pulse visible in your peripheral vision.
You remember Nevada, and how the road that previously seemed as though it had been straight had actually been a long spiral, and how all the neon in Reno redshifted away from you as you approached endlessly, and how there was eventually no choice but to turn around. You remember that somehow, I-13 was spiraling inward in both directions, and that the sunset in front of you was also visible in the rear-view mirror.
You remember Mazo, and how the hematite trusses of naturally-occurring radio towers cast long shadows across the moon-baked earth, and how the mournful songs of the earth spirits drowned out your car’s sound system on every frequency, and how famished tumbleweeds would stop to feast upon roadkill. You remember being so thirsty that you tried to swallow a handful of powdered water.
You remember New Mexico, and how strange it was that Albuquerque’s buildings had no windows, and how its streets had no pedestrians. You remember stopping at the Hotel California outside of town, only to find that there was no vacancy, and how delicious the feast looked that was taking place in the courtyard. You remember how your car ran away with a herd of wild automobiles, leaving you to die.
You remember hitchhiking further along I-13, and how a trucker picked you up in Bolgana, and how you were so dehydrated that even the petroleum cider that he offered you tasted heavenly. You remember how he explained to you that the end of the world was once a physical place that no one had visited, and how it had since become a date in the future that no one could name. You remember when the police pulled him over for speeding and arrested him once it became clear that he was actually a mirage.
You remember all this while facing America’s innermost border, sitting on a perilous outcropping of stone over a bottomless crater. Here, the power lines that have been lining the highway for your entire journey end; the last few miles of their length have been twisted around six massive tuning pegs. Now that you’ve found the end of the world, all there is to do is wait.