Ryan was taken aback by how poor people were in the South. He never thought he’d had it all that great, scraping by on $8.50 an hour, but now he saw that it could’ve been a lot worse. In Mississippi or Arkansas—he was never really sure what state they were in, since Dylan had the map, and his exhaustion and paranoia had made the whole journey hallucinatory—he saw houses patched with plywood and plastic sheeting, people sitting on buckets in their yards, entire Main Streets abandoned, their buildings blindfolded and gagged with bricks and boards. He and Dylan began to talk about all the money the government sends overseas when people were drowning right here. They loved America, but it seemed like a place where things could go bad really quickly, and when they did, nobody cared.