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Ollie looked up, beaming. He jumped back into the cab and immediately launched into the details of how he knew it had to be at the gas station, how it must've fallen out on the way to the bathroom. It's got to still be there, he kept saying to Steve, got to be there. Steve could only reprimand Ollie about the evils of drugs as he flipped the truck around and back on to the highway, pointing back once again to the Canadian border where they entered the weekend only two days ago. He could feel the knot tightening again. This was crazy, insane. But he loved Ollie. He loved that little shit with all his heart, and he couldn't let his own, responsible, uptight judgment take over and leave Ollie beaten, bruised or worse while he lounged in his Seattle apartment. There were things more important than the big job chance. And his friend was one of them.

Ollie didn't say a word this time as they passed, once again, through the border checkpoint and into Canada. It was too easy, and Steve couldn't help but look continually over to the other side, hoping that the crusty guard who interrogated them earlier wasn't watching them slip back across the line. It would certainly look wrong, like they were up to something. But through all of his paranoia he couldn't see over to the other side, and he only hoped they wouldn't notice the black Ford Ranger as it raced northward into the darkness.

20 miles later they pulled up to the same pump at the Canadian Petrol Qwick Mart. And there, under the fluorescent glow, under Ollie's feet, his smiling face almost reckoning a pre-pubescent boy at Christmas, were the two vials of marijuana. Untouched, unhampered. It was something both men could truly not believe. Ollie collected them back up with all the giddiness he could muster and Steve felt good. The fear had drained the life out of Ollie, and now it was back, and he was happy. It was going to be a good night.

"I'll make sure there in my pants this time!" Ollie exclaimed as he climbed back in the truck.

"I think you should stick 'em straight up your ass," Steve shot back. "I don't think they do cavity searches at the border."

Back on the highway, they split off east on the first exit. No way they were going back through that same gate, Steve kept saying, no way. The morning was beginning to tinge the black sky with a pale gray, and soon the dull yellows and reds would paint the horizon and color the landscape of the Pacific Northwest as the black Ford Ranger sped further out into Canada's desolate territory. Out toward the next point of entry into the U.S., wherever it may be. At this point, Steve knew everything would be all right, he could only laugh with each glance over at Ollie, giddy with excitement about his re-found gift, and re-found life.

"I think I'm gonna start growing my own," Ollie began, pondering out loud to Steve all of the necessary accouterments required for your very own hydroponics garden, complete with concealment curtain and alarm.

"I think that's a damn good idea," Steve said, turning on his wipers as the first few drops of rain began accumulating on the windshield. It was going to rain again on the way into Seattle. But that was all right. They didn't expect anything less. And it really didn't matter to Ollie.

The Drive
American Jokes
West Hastings
Stashing
Lost
Guarded
Waiting Room
Homeward Bound