Thinking of this while driving this evening, from my Sub-suburbs Tale. It’s actually a pretty funny novel, but it’s also got to stick to your bones.
From Blaise’s Journal
My Sinclair dinosaur squints to the West, whence Lewis and Clark and Sacajawea disappeared, over the mountains and down the Columbia to the nation's end, the misnamed Pacific. To them it was a land of wonder; to go where they went, we'd have to go farther. What did they wonder when they saw the ocean breaking at the end? For all their awe, a sinking? For all the wonders they'd seen, what do you do when you reach the end not having found that one dear thing you most desire, the one priceless something you don't even dare name? When every inch has been quantified and surveyed, how can you lie to yourself that it's still there, just hidden, or maybe only hidden in your mind instead of space?
It took them 187 days to retrace their steps and get back to St. Louis. They all got honors and stuff. For some of them it was never enough. The memory of their great achievement was a haint to every mundane day after. Merriwether Lewis killed himself.