We washed into Gatlinburg, Tennessee, barely ahead of the storms, which caused mass flooding and the loss of lives in the autumn of 2018 after a frantic drive through the foothills of the Smoky Mountains via Cherokee in North Carolina. Our car (which had already done 1700 miles) had become a moving skip filled with detritus from road snacks: wrappers from Moon Pies and Goo Goo Clusters and foot-dented Styrofoam containers were scattered underfoot, awaiting the next rest-stop rubbish bin. I think we’d stopped at every single road stand where I’d mooned over piles of squashes and squealed over bubbling vats filled with boiled peanuts and gathered jars of muscadine jelly and sorghum syrup unto me in the same way Christ gathered his flock. I had become a travelling cliché. In my excitement at living, for real, what I had been reading about, I delayed asking the question that had been percolating in my subconscious for so long: what am I not seeing?