Then, in the evening, around the time I crossed into Kentucky, a storm hit. I couldn't tell you exactly where; I wouldn't even be able to recognize that stretch of highway. Everything got so black so quickly that every last landmark was obscured. I thought I was driving on a raised roadbed until I saw the taillights of a car that had skidded up the embankment to my right. A little later on, horrifyingly, I found myself facing the headlights of another car that had spun out onto the median. From time to time the lightning would crack through, nuclear-blast bright, and then everything would plunge back to darkness while my retinas tried to adjust. It was fully apocalyptic, as though God himself had finally arrived for vengeance on Mitch McConnell. The car rocked with the force of the wind and rain. I wanted desperately to pull over but couldn't see a place where it was even possible. On my phone's GPS display, the estimated time of arrival began ticking up and up, further contributing to the nightmare sensation of slipping backward.
When the headlights found an exit sign that promised a motel, I pulled off, not even caring where I was. In the parking lot I sat and shook.
The end version abandoned both the original chord progression and the early melody. The lyrics are so elliptical that I wasn't certain they'd work until I tried them over a percussion loop. (The loop, btw, is supposed to evoke the sound of windshield wipers, though I don't know if it does that for anyone but me.) That somewhat structureless structure might be as close as I can get to recreating the sense of having the world melt away into nothing even as I had to keep going forward.
P.S. I think anyone who's driven through the heartland will recognize the Adult Superstore sign—the sort of disconcerting landmark that looks halfway familiar no matter where you are—and will also know that the correct name is Lion's Den. I changed it mainly for the scansion—though I like the lower-rent feeling of "Bob's." Bob, whoever you are, wherever you are, no disrespect intended.