Wearied by the TV, I go over to the window of my room and sit down on the couch. I stretch out with my arm along the upper back part, which maybe you’d call a headrest, the way I’ve seen suave lounge-type actors do in movies. I mean to look up at the lighting in my room’s ceiling, to “stare the bulb down” and thereby reawaken my eyes, but, instead, I look straight through the top of the window and see the moon. I’m so surprised that, for a moment, I think I’m outside, and the ceiling is the sky and so on. Then I remember that we’re still driving, and my room has been superimposed into the back of the vehicle. It’s night now, clearly, a full and sagging moon over a prairie or tundra. We must have a long drive still ahead us. I don’t know why this has to be true just going on the fact that we’ve already driven so long, but I think it must be. The moon throws me into a dream. I’m at the edge of a barn with a small glittering lake off to my right, knocking on the padlocked doors. Someone lets me in, my partner-in-crime, like we were two boxcar children a decade ago, and now we’re boxcar young men, still breaking into barns and hopping trains and all just like we used to. Inside the barn, we wade quickly through the sawdust and shimmy up a pole and onto a loft, hoping that we weren’t seen or heard. He’s got our bedrolls and other supplies already up there, like he’s been waiting a long time to meet me here. Up there in the loft, we huddle among the straw and the whole place starts moving. It’s almost like we’re on horseback departing the stable for a midnight gallop through the lowlands, but the stable — that is, the barn — is moving along with us. It’s the bed of a truck now, way up high, maybe thirty feet off the road. We’re racing down the highway, signs of 711’s and Mobil stations encasing us on all sides, with the names of towns and states all but lost among them. I think about the pole we shimmied up, and realize that if we shimmied back down now it’d lead right into the main compartment of the truck, and the driver would know we’d stowed-away, and the game would be up. So my boxcar companion and I hold our ground, trying to rub straw into our exposed skin to keep a little warm. But the inevitability of climbing down from here starts to dawn on me. I start to see that, one day, we’ll have to come down, and the driver will see us, and the game will be up then much as it would be now. I push the thought away until morning. In the morning, we open our eyes and see that a city has come up all around. A big place, probably second only to the capital of whatever province or country we’re currently in. We steel ourselves to accept the end, and get ready to climb down the pole. But now there are stairs, and they lead down the side of the truck, not into its center. Perhaps we’ll manage to escape from here undetected after all. We climb down slowly, feigning dignity. The driver meets us at the bottom, and we kiss our little selves goodbye. But what he has in his hands is not a butcher’s knife but a clutch of diamonds. Both of his open palms are so full of diamonds that, if he tried to make fists around them, they’d bulge something awful. He starts right in trying to sell us the diamonds, pushing them up close to our faces like they were salt crystals and we were horses, expected to lick them right up from off of him. Not only does he not seem to know that we stowed-away in his truck, he seems to think that we are the very people he drove all this way into the city to meet.

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