with a girl

I couldn’t resist this widget that maps out the 37 states I’ve visited.

My map is a guess, though. In 1989 I drove from Providence RI to Emeryville CA, the long way, with a girl—let’s just call her Paul. From Boyertown PA we ended up a couple nights later in Atlanta GA. How did we get there? I remember complaining about song pollution, John Denver stuck in our heads as we drove through Shenandoah National Park, where we most likely camped. Which means we probably crossed those tiny jigsaw bits of both Maryland & West Virginia on our way into Virginia. Then both Carolinas on the way to Atlanta would make sense, right? (Scary how much I’ve forgotten!)

Likewise, the little Yellowstone corner of Montana is all I’ve seen of that big, tantalizing state, & Delaware I’m assuming I must have passed through asleep on an overnight charter bus from Providence to a big reproductive rights march in DC. (Remember those?! It was like 1985 or something.) That kinda barely counts as “visiting”, but you could say I’ve been there.

Interesting to see which states have so far eluded me, & which I’ve visited more than you’d guess. Some things I do remember: Paul’s friend trying to teach me to play pool in a bar in Atlanta, eating boiled peanuts (hey, that’s Chinese!) somewhere in the hills of Alabama after visiting Paul’s father (who let me drive his pickup truck), & fireflies when we camped in Memphis. I’ve been in Tennessee kind of a lot, considering. You can read that sentence both ways.