Each night I drive twelve miles from the cabin to a nearby town where I can pick up a signal and join the grid. I check my email. I send files to whoever needs them. I spend thirty seconds scrolling through the news, just long enough so I don’t scream.

I enjoy these midnight drives. Mist rises from the fields, and my headlights catch the shining eyes of deer. Along the town’s empty Main Street, the faces of men and women who’ve served in the military hang from the lampposts. The doctor’s office has a sign that says, “Doctors can cure, but only Jesus can heal.”

Tonight I’m idling in the vast parking lot of a strip mall anchored by a Walmart. It’s a deeply American scene here after hours. Teenagers drag race from the shuttered Chinese buffet to the Lawn & Garden side of the Walmart, their cars tricked out with neon and earsplitting engines. An old man pushes a shopping car filled with metal scrap and hollers about demons. A few middle-aged guys toss a football while their wives cheer from the bed of a pickup. Beneath the sodium lights, it looks like a futuristic sport.

This parking lot is an inspiring office after midnight.