I finish the column early in the morning, half watching the 5th anniversary necrophilic frenzy that we call news coverage. Between the grimness, I can’t stop talking about how much I love our hotel. Nick makes fun of me, and I realize that what I’m so euphoric about is that we had another successful tour and I did a good job on the column. It’s like I won the lottery or something.
We become obsessed with souvenirs, since we’ve bought nothing on the trip so far. There are these massive souvenir stands all the way to Arizona, which have ten billboards leading up to them, like Wall Drug. We pull off at the first, sensitively called the Running Indian. Inside is an orgy of crap—fake rattlesnake eggs, maracas, piggy banks, tomahawks, copper jewelry, taffy. It’s hard to choose, but I buy some maracas for Alex Shee Bee Gee and a beaded Native American style bracelet that says Heather. Nick buys ten postcards, including some Old West ones. “Our close relatives were in the James Gang,” he says. “Really?” I say, “Why haven’t you ever told me that?!” He rolls his eyes. “Every time I tell you, you ask why I’ve never told you before.” I promise to remember this time.
In the parking lot, I notice my bracelet is made in Taiwan.
We crash in Willcox, AZ, after eating in the Hopi Lounge, where two glasses of cheap Chardonnay turn me into a babbling idiot.
Back in the room, Dirty Dancing is on the television. We sing along with the Swayze gem, “She’s Like the Wind.”