It was one of those April Nashville days when it feels like summer in the sun and winter in the shade.

I remember clenching the wheel with both of my hands, as though I were a sailor fighting for control of his vessel during a tempest. In a sense, I was.

We skipped church, and instead we went to CVS and bought Wheat Thins and a pint of Welch's, and then we took communion in my Camry on the side of Nolansville Pike.

I also remember preparing food for the children on Jimmy Carter who live in the America Extended Stay. They are like ghosts, plodding up and down the hallways of hotels and the baking Atlanta roads, searching for something. They might even be looking for the same things as I am. I was packing little milk cartons when the woman in charge looked at my high school cross country coach from three years ago and asked him if I was his son. He said no, but he'd sure take me.

There are so many speckles of memories like this, like creases on my palm. I realize now that much of who I am comes from events such as these: they define me.

I think that sometimes I should write them all down. Other times I think that I really shouldn't, because the ones that are truly character defining will stick without me writing them down.

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