8:22PM Monday, March 7, 1983
Fifteen minutes outside the city, Kane and Seth drove into a fog storm. They couldn’t see more than fifteen feet in front of Kane’s 1972 BMW 2002, and Kane had been chain-smoking since they left his apartment. Every few minutes they’d pass a house with a yard light or a porch light, and Kane would see figures appear in the fog, mythological beasts and ethereal beings. Kane thought he saw the sphinx for a moment. He thought he heard a riddle, but he couldn’t understand the words.
A mixed tape had unwound through AC/DC, Eric Clapton, and Neil Young, and Seth held a shoe box full of backup tunes in his lap.
“You know,” Seth said, “I like Neil Young more than I used to.”
“Did you hear that?”
“Like a question, a riddle.”
Seth examined his friend. “What kind of a riddle?”
A semi whipped past them in the fog, heading the opposite direction. Red, blue, and amber lines trailed the truck’s runner lights.
“Where do you think this will take us?”
“This road goes to the casino, I believe.”
“I know that. I mean the drug dealing. Where will this take me? Where does Cassidy think she’s going to be in ten years.”
“I do not think she thinks about the future, but I think Cassidy will be in the suburbs with her car dealing husband and three children, and she will go out drinking with her friends on the weekends, and she will tell stories about the drug dealing boyfriend she had while her parents paid for her to attend a state college.”
Kane noticed an inch of ash hanging off the end of his cigarette, and he let it slide out the crack in the window.
“I like Cassidy. She knows what she wants, and she’s not shy about it.”
Seth stuck two cigarettes in his mouth, lit them both, and handed one to Kane. “I think I know her type.”
“Where will I be in ten years?”
“Wherever we will be in ten years will be much better than where we have been.”
The BMW crested a hill they could not see. Beyond the hill the fog swirled with greens, yellows, oranges, reds, purples, and blues. A statue of a bear standing on its hind legs emerged from the haze of colors, and Kane turned before passing the bear. They drove through a stand of trees, and the fog cleared to expose a parking lot filled with cars and buses. Beyond the parking lot sat the casino, a modern monstrosity designed to look like a log cabin covered in neon lights.
Seth smiled. “We have found the cultural roots of North America.”
Kane searched for a parking spot. “I’m not sure this passes for culture, but they might play some Gordon Lightfoot.”
“I would not mind listening to “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” such vivid imagery.”