A stark, backcountry walk along the roads of Grand Mound, Washington outside Centralia: its claim to fame the halfway point between Seattle and Portland. Across the road from the Great Wolf Lodge resort, a +21 legal weed pop-up called King Cronic (sic) with chain link fence, two diseased-looking dogs barely able to get up and bark. The sickly look of the morning sky, clammy clouds: the marine layer, ‘onshore flow,’ muggy. Thirty-some days with no measurable rain and all the lawns gone gold around the edges, working its way to the center. Reminds me of how fast a person’s hair can turn white, but unlike grass, it doesn’t revert back. I imagine if I just kept walking how my life would reduce down to a few considerations and I would undo myself. And why the idea of walking forever holds appeal. How the weeds are emboldened with no rain and crack underfoot, and on the shoulder there’s a CD face-up: The Amityville Horror film, and flies, and the smell of urine, a deer corpse, the contents of the cage long ago emptied. We’ve been out just 24 hours to an indoor water park and I thought a morning walk would do me good but now I’m not so sure. Check out’s at 11 and it’s going on 10, and I hurry back to see if I can catch Charlotte and Dawn for a final run down the Howling Tornado. It’s been three years since our last visit, and you realize how those times are numbered. Lily’s up in the room in a menstrual malaise or pre-teen, or combination: and Charlotte had some of her kid years lopped off with her best friend and sister disinterested in dolls and bath toys, now buried in her phone or blow dryer. On the drive back Charlotte wants me to sit in the back and we cuddle for a time but it all goes to hell by Tacoma and she’s threatening to get car sick if I don’t turn off the AC (claims the smell makes her sick) and it becomes a battle of wills neither of us will lose and I say fine, get sick: I’ll rub your face in it like warpaint, and she films me on Dawn’s phone then plays it back nonstop and I have to look at myself, my jawline gone slack like the elastic in my underwear, the raw truth to how I look and act, it’s not worth filming.