BOYD'S MOTEL, Newcastle WY

You know a motel is low on amenities when the only thing hanging from the sign is the fact that they have heat. Of course, it's steam heat: hoorah. Pull in here, honey, they have clanking radiators.

The postcard says COMMERCIAL MEN WELCOME. And that's nice. But imagine yourself as a Commercial Man, rising on some bitterly cold morning, scuffing out to the parking lot to your frigid auto, looking at the lonely parking lot - noticing the way it just becomes the road, as if there really isn't any distinction anymore between moving and stopping, it's just all one damned interminable road trip, one gravelly expanse from here unto death. Another day waits: five hours on a butt-busting washboard road, coffee in styrofoam cups, too many cigarettes, too many people who aren't buying what you're selling, another night doing paperwork on the bed while the TV plays a cowboy movie.

Say a prayer for the commercial man.