I’d fallen asleep again and when I opened my eyes, I could see a kaleidocope of stars above through the rear window. The desert. Nevada or California, it was hard to tell. The Mojave stradles both states and pretty much looks the same from both sides.
Especially when you’re fucking lost.
“We’re not lost”, Dave said.
“Then where are we?” Phil flung the map at him.
“We’re not far. Look, you see that glow in the distance? That’s Vegas.”
I yawned. “Then fucking get us there, Magellan.”
“Shut up, Alex”
Somewhere we’d taken a wrong turn and somehow had ended up back in Death Valley, made our way out again, took another wrong turn at Beatty, and ended up doubling back once again. The way things were going between us, Death Valley was going to be renamed “Murder Valley”.
After another hour, we spotted a little roadside Casino. We pulled in to ask directions.
The place was more of a bar with a few slots and pool tables than an actual casino, but it would do. We just needed some directions. I went with Dave to ask directions while the others walked over to the pool tables.
The bartender was reading a book and didn’t even look at us. He raised a bushy eyebrow as we approached.
“We’re lost. Can you tell us how to get to Vegas?”
“Easy”, he said.
“Ok, can you tell us then?”
He continued to look at his book, “change the direction from where you’re going, you will wind up where you’re headed.”
Me and Dave looked at each other and shrugged, and walked over to the pool tables. Phil was about to win the table from a man in a beret who didn’t look too happy about it.
“Any luck?” Dave asked.
“Not much”, I said. “Confucius over there isn’t making any sense.”
Phil sunk the 8 and held out his hand to shake on a game well played. Beret threw down his pool cue and shot us all a dirty look before walking over to talk with Confucius at the bar while glancing back in our direction.
“Maybe you should have let him win.”
“You think so? Maybe we should leave.”
“Finally, a good idea.”
We headed for the door figuring we’d be better off finding our own way back than hanging out here. When we got outside, I couldn’t help but be amazed at the brilliance of the night sky.
“Whoa, look at the stars.”
“Shut up, Copernicus.”
And with that, we aimed the car at that distant glow and made our way towards Vegas.