I got sick at the campsite. Drew scooped it up with one hand and threw it in the fire before his dog could eat it. It made a hissing sound and sparks, my last memory that night.
We tripped out on the El subway in Philadelphia and emerged in center city, made our way to Dirty Frank’s, the unmarked bar at the corner of 13th and Lombard. No signs, just a door that sticks. Everyone looks up when you enter.
Proceeded to McGlinchey’s, all the old guys drinking, hunched over, happy cadavers. Ended at the Franklin Institute, almost got hit by a bus crossing Race Street. Drew rescued a black boy who got stuck in one of the ventricles of a large, human heart replica, his feet dangling in the air. We thought he was kidding, but he wasn’t.
Drew sent me a copy of his book, and when I read it in our living room it was like I could hear him talking to me, feel the warmth of his hand on my shoulder.
Today, we unrolled two carpets from my parent’s house in Pennsylvania. I slept on one of them underneath the dining room table then, with the dogs and the HVAC system snoring, 1997, 1998. Highgrove House: tucked below route 100 at the mouth of a valley in Lowhill Township, Pennsylvania.
I gave up looking for Emmet’s body and made my way back up the hill, glasses broke, blood on my brow, no sign of his tracks in the snow.