Since you asked me what I was doing out here hitching a ride in the cold, I’ll tell you. Just turn up the heat, please. And thanks for the ride. Funny how I don’t feel so cold when there is no hope of warming up. Put me in a car though, or in somebody’s living room, and right away I feel cold. Outside I just get used to it, or numb.
It’s a long drive to Albuquerque, and if you’re going that far, I’ll take the lift.
Now, I’m going to lay it out for you, not editing so much. You seem like a pretty smart guy, so I won’t spare you the edges.
Back then, before all this started, I had gotten through school, I had a pretty good job, was married, stable. Not exactly happy, but getting along if you know what I mean. The bills got paid and I was responsible. I lived in a big city, not like this place. I mean here there is nothing but sky, lava flows, red sandstone, and wind. The winds just never stops blowing. But it’s where tumbleweeds like me end up.
Pardon me. I just need to blow some warm air into my hands here. Whew. I get the shivers sometimes. OK, where was I? Like most things, though, dreams can grow cold after a while if you don't care for them. When it was still alive, on fire, I felt good.
[From here, the story switches to the driver's (a straight-laced college teacher) perspective. He is taking the long way home and has no idea how this story, told by a hitch-hiking transient, will affect him.]