My companion on the recent leg of my Hell book tour
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A few weeks ago I noticed a green anole squeeze into the driver-door outside mirror of my car. It did not occur to me that he actually lived in there until this past weekend, when I took a four-day, three-night, 1200-mile book tour road trip from my home to a gig at Florida State College in Venice, Florida, and then on to an appearance at the Miami Book Festival and back home again. This little fella, whom I came to call “Larry,” went along for the ride, sunning himself at times at 70 miles per hour on the Interstate. He and I safely returned home but not without a couple of extreme-sport adventures. Twice Larry emerged entirely and flapped wildly in the wind like the green flag of a banana republic in a hurricane. The first time, before I could figure out what to do, he reconsidered the move and was able to crawl back in to safety. The second time, about fifty miles from home, I noticed him out there clinging by one foot and clearly about to fly away. I rolled the window down and grabbed him. (I have perfected a gentle-grab technique over the years with these guys, who often wander into my two-cat household at their great peril.) I pulled over and fortunately had a small box in the back seat that kept him safe until we got home. When I opened the box beneath the live oak at the end of the brick walkway to my house, he strolled casually out with what can only be described as an I-meant-to-do-that attitude.