If this were a movie.
It would begin, even before the opening credits, with this scene:
It is dark.
It is a Nebraska winter night. The road, I-80, is icy and the wind swirls up chilled foggy air.
Inside the car, I am driving. I am 24 years old.
Longish beard, longish hair. Archie, from Brooklyn, sits in the passenger seat and stares out the window. (Two months ago Archie left Phoenix House rehab and hitchhiked out west.)
In the trunk of the stolen car, a green army duffel bag is stuffed with a lifetime savings worth of Acapulco gold. The car is spinning on black ice. Spinning is not quite the right word. It feels like we are suspended and floating—
as if everything that came before and everything that will come is lost. I can see the overpass and how its legs straddle the sides of the road. Drifting out of my control, the car turns toward those concrete legs and there is nothing I can do.