I used to pull off the road some nights and park my car out of the way and open the trunk and pull out a piece of cardboard and my sleeping bag and find a place on a high spot so I could sit in and have a sandwich and coffee and from my vantage point watch headlights on-coming in the night, little twin points of white light coming toward me, red lights trailing, leaving for home, maybe a ranch in the distance, a house with a warm stove and curtains on the windows, a feather quilt on the bed, food in the fridge, and hot coffee in the early morning as the sun rose on a new day. Some times I'd sit for a couple of hours and watch a dozen cars come and go.
A man can make his own life, more or less, in America. On the Fourth of July, that making of ones own life is a lot more focussed for us all, maybe on a crowd watching fireworks in the night sky, maybe just sitting on the stoop watching folks walk past to a bar-be-cue with the neighbours in someone's back yard.
I'd pack up my cardboard and my sleeping bag, put away my dinner, and climb back into the car and slowly rejoin the highway in the night, watching the barrel cactus and the moon-rise over the desert. I could hear the screen door bang and hear the thump of boots on the floor, and the squeak of bed springs, the click of a table lamp. But I still had miles and miles to go into the darkness.
Many times I'd wake at dawn and find frost on the windshield. I'd get out and stretch, kick a rock across the road, and look down the highway for sign of a diner and breakfast, a "Good morning," and a newspaper. Miles to go.