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I am on the road again. Which means, among many other things, a lot of time drifting through the inky night, consumed by solitary thoughts, looking for a place to call home for the night. I often audition a few interstate stops for this honor. The criteria is simple: it must be a quiet stop, thinly trafficked, with a handful of restaurants to choose from and a 24-hour gas-n-sip for picking up whatever random thing I might need that night.

Not every interstate town fits the bill. But often I find something that warms the heart a little, like the glow of travelers huddled over a late-night meal. Such a sight makes me feel slightly less alone, if only for a minute, as I circle back onto the darkened highway, searching for home.

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The Glow
March 2006