I’m staring into the trunk of the car. My arms are sore. They’re covered with scratches. There is a fresh cut near my left elbow. Two roughed-up flashlights are lying on the spare tire. In my right hand I’m holding a frayed nylon line.
“I’ll have to pick up more rope next time we go out on the river. The cave destroyed this one.”
“That was amazing – just down there at the bottom of the hill.”
Back in the car, I tell him how completely surreal this is.
“There seems to be big gaps in what I can remember about this trip.”
“Things don’t make a lot of sense,” he says.
“For me, it started after we got out of the car.”
“I don’t really think it was yesterday. I have a feeling this is the same day we left.”
“Yeah.” That’s all he says.
“You act like this is no big deal.”
“It’s not really. It’s just the way things are.”
“OK, for one thing, this trip takes place sometime in the early ‘80s.”
“And the fact is, it’s 2014 and I’m typing these words on a computer screen. No – it’s after that – someone is reading this. And yet, here we are sitting in the Mustang – a car I don’t own anymore – and we’re driving to the city.
“That means you’re a dead man – like me.”
His smile can mean a thousand things.