Paul and I agreed on a plan: wake before dawn, rent a car from the airport, find ourselves a map, and just drive. We hit the sack almost immediately. By 4am we were awake, showered, fed, and out the door. By 5am, we were on the road to San Francisco.

I volunteered to drive the first shift, but my conservative driving quickly wore at Paul's patience.

In less than an hour, Paul offered to take over. Demanded, actually. I was in no mood to argue. Besides, Paul made better time than I ever would have.

Every 40 miles or so, Paul let go of the wheel and steered with his knees so that his hands could attend to more a pressing matter: his hash pipe.

The needle never dropped below 100.

This made me tense. But I let Paul drive and tried putting my mind elsewhere.

My thoughts turned toward Mike.