Still alert, yet unable to feel my hands or toes, I called it quits in Las Cruces, NM, after riding for 13 hours. The ride had been the best night of the trip so far, I had felt focused yet peaceful, attentive yet relaxed. I pulled over to a Super 8 and waited for the fat blonde dude working the desk to unlock the door and let me in to the lobby. This fella was not in the least bit friendly. I was talkative and hyper and happy to be in out of the cold, and he was glowering and dismissive. I suppose I should cut him some slack though, it was 4am and I probably either woke him up or interrupted his internet chat with his favorite east european adult webcam girl. He checked me in, I got up in room 215 and stripped immediately in order to take a hot shower. After 20 minutes, I finished shivering and crawled under the covers. It was late and I was exhausted, yet I couldn't manage to doze off because I kept hearing noises outside the window where I had parked Josie. I kept jumping up to look to see who I was going to have to maim for trying to steal her, but of course, there wasn't a soul around. A couple paranoid hours passed and I finally slept. ..until 930, which is when I woke up to take a shower and shave and get back on the road. The first couple hours were difficult due to my level of fatigue but the countryside through New Mexico is gorgeous and I'm glad that I had stopped the night before, so I didn't miss it. I took quite a bit of breaks, riding casually west on 10. At a gas station in Lordsburgh, NM, I watched a group of dirty barefoot good-for-nothings push an old RV into the parking lot, so I ran over and helped them push it to the back of the place. The plates on it said Colorado and they all kept referring to it as "Hobo." They didn't know what was wrong with it, had no tools, and no money. I imagine that they've never performed maintenance of any sort on the vehicle, yet were still thoroughly surprised that it wold break down on them. They asked me if I had any booze, drugs, or cash, and since they had a child running around with them, I gave them the 7 bucks I had. The child was so dirty, it was impossible to tell what gender it was, but it was still pretty cool. It kindof looked like the kid off Beyond Thunderdome. Right around the Arizona line, I started enjoying the day. Josie was gnawing on speed and I was wiggling in my seat to the music in my ears. Its been a day dream of mine for quite a while now to ride through the desert listening to my favorite jazz songs, and thats exactly what I did. Peppered with a little Eagles of Death Metal of course. In Willcox, AZ I watched a 3 legged beagle cross back and forth the only road in town. The whole place looked abandoned except for myself and the gas station attendant, and it made me wonder why she cut off her dogs leg. My destination for the evening was Gilbert, AZ, a small suburb of Phoenix where Emily Harry had moved a few years back to attend Dental school. I hadn't seen or communicated with Emily in years, and it was great to see her and catch back up. She hasn't changed and I felt comfortable and content around her immediately. After we chatted, she took me to meet her new beau Joe at a bar called the Boulders. The Boulders was a rather nifty spot. I particularly liked that they had an indoor place to put your bicycles, and they also had all sorts of patio games, such as a giant Jenga. I was introduced to Joe and all of his friends over the course of a couple beers. He is a friendly, boisterous guy who seems to have a good sense of humour. He also seems to know what he has in Emily and thats something I appreciate. We didn't hang out too late and all rode back over to Emilys to call it a night. I had felt a hint of anger behind my thoughts all day, and when I laid down to sleep, it became much more than that.. I stared at the ceiling so fucking pissed at my loneliness. Ill never see Josie again. Ill never watch her sleep with her eyes half open. Ill never catch her passed out in the bathtub with some young adult book about vampires. Ill never wrap my arms around her from behind and kiss the back of her head. Ill never calm her down again after a stressful day. Nothing. None of it. I eventually did fall asleep, and I dreamt for the first time in 3 weeks. It was a meaningless dream that involved comparing back hair with Charlie Sheen and an umpire at home plate, but it was a dream nonetheless. When Emily and Joe woke me early, I felt refreshed, and we went to watch the sun rise over the Superstition Mountains.