"Y'all going to a primary event. Man I am not watching the primary. Them politicians are all the same. You cannot trust a goddam one of them. I mean we gotta get Obama out, but none of the rest of them are worth a pinch of dried piss."

The cab was speeding through the outskirts of Columbia, South Carolina, and the usual effect was taking over, the blocks elongating like a bad sci-fi hyperdrive scene. American cities don't end, they stream towards an infinite horizon, the drive-in banks and pharmacies and the occasional old white clapboard church and weed-strewn vacant lots. The driver, grey beard, ponytail, 60s, had looked like a reasonable bet conversation-wise, Columbia's last hippie, working out the years to a new kidney. The previous driver had been a puffy dude, with five-hour energy shots lined up on the dashboard, jabbering one moment about the irresponsibility of nuclear proliferation, then his real estate deals, then about how we should carpet-bomb Iran.