I still haven't processed that I'm here, on my way to work for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.
But for now, the here is Flagstaff, Arizona, in a dinky inn off the highway.
I paid for it with American Express Platinum points, probably, for the first time in this hotel's history.
The pool is a dull and stagnant, an unnatural, dense aquamarine hue with blubber-esque particles creating a glidable sheen. The fitness center has two treadmills, adjoined by a kitchen and haphazard storage room that that screams ill-intention.
But none of those reasons are why I'm here.
This is the first leg in the journey to Arlington, Virginia, where I will be the filmmaker for Hillary Clinton's 2016 Presidential Campaign.
It will be perhaps the most important job I have ever taken, leaving my entire life and fiancé behind in Los Angeles with the mission of electing the first woman president and increasingly, defeating a most dangerous Donald Trump.
It doesn't feel that important staying in this inn, yet all adventures have a humble start.
America feels strikingly large as you cross it.
Mixtures of small towns, large towns, even abandoned towns litter the vast isolationist space between Flagstaff, AZ and Oklahoma City, staying tonight in a significantly improved, albeit dated, hotel suite.
The people who populate this space are surely Donald Trump supporters. Even though the landscape is different, I recognize these places.
It is where I grew up.
Most of the small businesses have been replaced with chains, mom and pop stores shuttered. These are the places that America has left behind as the new economy drives us to city centers.
Drinking way too much coffee and water, the Peanut Buster Parfait I ate off the Route 66 exit hit my bowels somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Pulling over to the gas station, they had no working bathrooms.
I drove to the back of the station, a hill adjoining the massive gravel parking lot and abandoned building, to go pee.
Then a little shart happened.
Fortunately, Xintong left paper towels in the backseat. I wiped and polluted, but I don't feel bad, because it's biodegradable.
I went to the rest station two miles down the road, the place the gas station advertised to use the restroom. It too was shut down.
It's easy to see why these people are upset and disenfranchised.
Everything, even as nominal as the bathroom, has shut down because everyone has left.
It leaves behind a trail of abandonment.
Like the 80-something year old I held the door for at McDonald's on another break today. She was walking in with her cane, alone, no one to hold the door for her. Being a southern gentleman, I opened both doors so she could get through.
In 60 years, she says, I'll know what it's like to be unable.
My best friend Ryan called on the way to say with all the crazy shit that Trump has been spewing this week, he was just making my job easier. Perhaps he's right.
I think he underestimates the disenfranchisement Trump's deepest supporters feel.
It's ironic that most of the big decisions are made on the coasts where I primarily work. In this large in-between space you have to drive, train or fly over, perhaps if more of us got out of our educated urban bubbles, then people might understand them better.
For all of the largeness, it sure felt small and repetitive.