And now, I am also among the dogs that run in this dust: that bark into microphones and scratch out happy memories in the little juke joints up and down the blacktop. My Karoo. My soundcheck. And the sound of the big bikes rolling in. Let's run a bar tab: as long as my arm: I've got long arms, sister. How fast can you run? And maybe my memory's not as good as it used to be. But I'm back. Like I've never been gone. That's the Blues Highway: maps and companionship: sparse rooms and solitude: the emptiness of the desert: the fullness of the night. How fast can I go out here? Is it too hot? Will my tyres explode and hurl this old Merc to a fate of dust and glass and fire and crumpled steel? Maybe that's already happened: already happened and this is Hell on the flipside. Not bad. Some final payout for all the years of sin and depravity. There's never been enough of that to go around. A blues pension. This desert of mine. I roll back every year, and the only things that change are the price of diesel, the colour of my hair, the lines on my face, the patina on the old National. The wind is still the same, the frets are new, but the third string buzzes now, sometimes.
It's still November, but I'm dreaming of December. It is my December. My December: in the shade: watching the sun rise over the desert: me: and Big Joe: and Kokomo. Waiting to hear Son House on the radio: waiting for the kitchen to open: and then: breakfast: and then: I'll point the old Merc down Hwy 62. My Karoo.