Jon is a steady man. Slow to speak and analytical and never unscientific in his decisions. It’s what makes him such a good man; he’s a rock, a sturdy wall.

He writes things down. I can trust that.

Jon, as much as he will listen to me and the others who have come to trust him, isn’t one for talking about himself. For everything he knows about me, he has managed to stay such a mystery in return.

I think I always imagined Jon as a man with a deep, dark, damning secret. A reason why he was so quiet about where he came from as a person. His father worked for the CIA or he had witnessed a mob hit or he was the illegitimate son of a vacationing Jack Kennedy. I always imagined Jon as a man with a good past. I just never could quite figure out what that past was.

I had wanted Jon to travel with me for some time now. He had never seen the states. The man had spent a summer in Bombay, pulled a chunk out of the Berlin Wall, seen London four times over. But he had never seen the states. He had never driven through more than two states on the same trip and he had never looked out over the ocean. The only times he ever really gotten out of Minnesota was on a plane.

So it had become a goal of mine to be the one there with him when he finally did it. And I had succeeded.

Back in the passenger seat of the truck, Jon was being still as a millpond. I didn’t like it. Here, we had finally started talking sometime after we crossed the Virginia border and now, just barely out of Maryland and into Pennsylvania, and he had decided to shut up for too long. I have driven these interstates many times and have been glad that I was alone and in silence. But when given the opportunity, sometimes you just become thankful to hear anything a man like Jon has to say.

He didn’t say anything. He just looked out the window. We built the stage up in Philadelphia and we tore it back down. On the way back to the hotel rooms I finally brought it up.

What do you think so far about the road, Jon?

He smiled. He laughed. I didn’t know before. I didn’t know. I’m sorry. I know now. He drummed a short cadence on the top of this leg.

Know what, Jon? I wanted to say it, but I didn’t. I waited in quiet breaths for him to say it on his own. I had never intruded on his thoughts before and I was not about to do it this time either, however inclined to do so I may be.

He didn’t say it. I waited but his words never came. I went to my room at the hotel and contemplated it; Jon probably sleeping soundly on a queen size mattress across the hall. What was there that a man like Jon does not already know? What is he keeping from me? Why is he hiding?