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  • On the road in the frigid Nevada desert, only the fiery night-light above kept company, dodging in-and-out of the clouds, unsure how strongly to burn.

    A bar comes into view. The kind you pass a hundred times. You wonder what the locals are up to, but are too shy to find out.

    Not tonight.

    The Oasis is a small, dingy place, warmed only by a wood stove chugging in the far corner. Two older women grace the bar; smoke pours off their cigarette tips, ending in a heavy cloud above. Folding tables are set with green checkered tablecloth. A picnic theme, I suppose.

    Georgia and Twilia are kind. Country folk curious of my presence, me curious of theirs.

    After two beers and a big tip, it's time – the zero-degree sleeping bag yearns for my droopy eyes.

    Key in the ignition, Twilia catches me.
    "Georgia wants you to stay in her vacation cabin," she says.

    Maybe it was my friendly Midwest upbringing. Maybe I was the son Georgia wished she'd had. I didn't ask.

    Somehow I woke up in Cabin #5.
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