“Do you think there is more to life than we were told? Like, imagine if we were born in a different country with different names, how our lives would be different.”
“Dude, perhaps enough with this ‘imagine if..’ stuff and roll that joint faster. I know you like to debate a lot, to keep your mind busy, but chop-chop will ya.”
“You know if you push an artist to create his masterpiece faster, it could backfire and end up tragically disastrous. For rolling a joint is like handwriting, some do it fast with grace and some do it slowly with passion, and there are some who never get that, like you Mike.”
“Okay smarty pants, will see how it ends up, and where is your god damn aux cord?”
“Where it always hang, right outside the hole in the front panel, made for the audio player. Swear to god, I sometimes wonder, how you can forget such little things.”
“Lay off will ya, you making me feel like I’m the victim in this scenario Matthew. Remember, I ain’t the one..”
“Yeah, Yeah. Put something nice for a change, because your last playlist played a thousand times already this week.”
Both friends sat in the front seat of Matthews van, with an idea to escape reality once more on a hot spring day. Van began slowly filling with Mike’s ordinary summer-house music, loud and without a passion for it. Van now sounded like midnight club on four wheels. Mikes head would start moving with the rhythm of music and Matthew couldn’t stand it. Matthew had a passion for music older than him, songs with heart and soul devoted to them, anything that wasn’t made on a laptop While Mike was completely opposite, he thought it was a good turn for humanity when they forgot about shabby old-fashioned songs.
“Again dude? This song was going on five times today already and it’s only ten in the morning, I told you I won’t mind, but this is just another level of annoyance.” Holding unfolded joint in one hand and reaching for stereo with another, Matthew heard Mike’s voice trembling sound coming his way like an airwave.
“Wait, wait, wait! I’ll skip this, I have a new one for you and you’re going to like it.” He switched annoying house track to reggae jam, with a goal to surprise Matthew. Reggae jams started to cover the annoyance of house music, which was covering silent space in Matthews van before.
“And it’s done, all you had to do was put some real music for a change, not that crap they create on a laptop.”
Matthew smiled with an optimistic smile on his face. That made Mike think it was a joke about him and he answered with a mean grin. They moved to the back of the van, with an ashtray in the middle and reggae in the air; leaving them to sit back and relax in the long backseat of the van. Music filled their ears with positive thoughts and smoke filled up the entire back of the van. It was big enough for five people in the back and two in front. Matthew had to slide open vans side door for some smoke to get out. Not enough for a van to look like hippie wagon, now it smelling with weed.
“Relax dude, we won’t be going anywhere soon. My guy told me this is some strong stuff, they usually have to go on a trip to Tallinn for this kind of stuff.”
They both lived on the east side of Estonia, about fifty kilometers from the Russian border. At beginning of each month, Mike would go to the nearest town from the border for some cheap cigarettes, as they cost nothing and tasted like crap. Addiction was one of Mikes nastiest habit.
“I’m not thinking of going anywhere. It’s just too much of a smoke, I don’t want to give people reason to stop by us, thinking we might be burning my van down.”
“Look around, who would stop by, we are in the middle of nowhere”
Mike was right, they were surrounded by bushes on top of the old abandoned quarry, overlooking hole in the ground made by mining companies. The drove to places like this every time when the plan of getting high and sit on their asses for no particular reason came to mind. To waste another day wondering about their futures. The wind was blowing inside the van through a side door, pushing smoke back in slightly and making van rattled for brief moments when it got stronger.
“Is the side door really necessary thing to have open? You get rid off some of the smell, but is it worth it getting it all dusty in here?”
Mike couldn’t stand the sound of wind howling and with dust coming in their temple of religious acts, their so-called smoke session. Joint was gone and both friends were high as a kite, ready to open Matthew’s laptop for some funny movie to watch. Unfortunately, there were no funny or action movies, nor scary or dramatic ones, all he had on the laptop was old indie movies, which bored Mike to death. No entertaining content from a laptop for self-amusement left them both in silence, to search for entertainment in their own thoughts of imagination. Gifting van a silence moment, a moment when even music stopped playing. Suddenly Matthew raised up to the front seat of the van, drawing a picture in Mikes head of a guy who desires to take a high ride to the police station. Instead, Matthew plugged his phone into cars stereo, just to put his favorite indie music and began talking.
“You know what I think. I think we should go off to an expedition, but not like the casual one. The expedition of us going to south Europe, perhaps one day we’ll decide to go to Africa.”
“This is truly some serious shit we smoked,” both started laughing, but Mike sensed seriousness in Matthew and continued “How you manage to do that? Don’t say with this van, as it barely takes us to places like this. Imagine what could happen after thousand kilometers.”
“Of course with this, what else. We just have to prepare it for a bit, I have some cash stocked up and I know a guy, he could do it for the price of vodka box. The old friend of mine.”
“Box of vodka, are you for real?”
Mike went laughing like crazy and stepped outside of the van with Matthew following him. Mike lid up a cigarette and begin listening carefully in Matthew.
“Listen, my guy can take care of repairs I’m positive and I can vouch for him. Box of vodka only because we are good friends, think of it as a coupon or gift card. Usually, he fixes cars at ordinary prices, which can skyrocket to fortune. He’s really good I’m telling you. After all, I’m not saying it will be easy, but imagine all the crazy adventure we would have and all the crazy people we would meet.”
Matthew went from lazy stone gaze look through vans window to the excitement of a five-year-old opening presents on Christmas morning. His soul was lid up only from thought about it. The only thing that left to get straight was Mike. Thought of leaving everything behind left Mike to rethink his life choices. They were standing still, with back against the side of the van. Mike was smoking one of the smuggled cigarettes from Russia and smell of low-grade tobacco made Matthew sick, forcing him to close vans door for smoke no to get in. Mike coughed from inhaling of his own smoke and said.
“Matthew it sure sounds amazing, but you know I can’t abandon everything here just like that. Mainly Amanda, because she can’t go with us do her university.”
Amanda was hard-working blonde, with a short temper and believe that everyone is walking the earth with its own purpose. Practical lady with a small part of creativity mixed in. Growing up with strict parents made her judge the world for it’s every mistake and trying to reach perfection. Amanda was a beautiful woman, with a body of an athlete and the voice of an angle. Mike loved her body more than her attitude, as she was the girlfriend who judged Mike for most of his mistake. Later on becoming a total control freak, with an urge to create demands for Mike and complicating his life even further. Mike and Amanda argued a lot, from tiniest thing to huge deals, arguments tended to stretch minutes into hours with common arguing ending, sex – leaving that as their healthiest relationship part. It all left Matthew to wonder ‘why he still holding on a body of hers, the relationship is dying and it’s never a good idea to hold onto something that poisonous?’.
“We will be back at the time she finishes if you’ll have a desire for returning”
“Man I can’t leave her just like that. You don’t abandon something that is dear to you.”
“Dude, you know she’s an asshole and letting her decide your future isn’t the healthiest decision to make either.” a slight anger rose in Matthew’s tone, but Mike remained calm with no desire starting a verbal fight.
“I certainly have to get some thought about it, Matthew, I can go wild in this one. For we all aren’t left broken-hearted like you and are in search for someone to fill that hole again. Isn’t that the reason why you want to do this?”
Silence took place between the two. A muffled sound came from cars stereo, beginning to fill it up with ambient sound of a beat. Matthew stood in silence and gave out no words after Mike’s question. The memory of him and his ex-girlfriend was still haunting him, reminding him about the good times they had together. All the laugh they shared and endless rides to sunrise they had. Nights they could spend on rooftops imagining their future together as two parents of a young born toddler; about Matthew teaching their kid basics of life. A memory of something precious grabbed away at the tip of fingers.