In June of this past year I decided to drive to a city that represented, for me, the end of fun. I can explain both this representation and my desire to visit by pointing vaguely in the direction of a certain book set in Peoria, which is not a novel and definitely not a memoir, but is, everyone agrees, about boredom. I had written one review of David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King, and read a thousand others because they were everywhere. I also knew the state's seventh-largest city was only a few hours from Chicago. Summer was sluggish to begin, and for far too long I'd been frozen. I needed to see how it was to play in Peoria.