“HELLO!” Rang out the call from the tarmac.
Diego couldn’t believe he’d been sent here, Utah of all places. “I know it’s not what you wanted,” but you should look on the bright side, “You won’t believe how much this book will change your life,” the very midwestern looking gentleman told him as he shoved a copy of Rich Dad, Poor Dad into Diego’s hands. They’d spent an entire flight together without saying a word and now Ethan wanted to talk.
Diego closed his eyes and drifted off to his favorite place. Sea World. Disney. Putt putt golfing. Things Rio Tinto could never hope to have. “God loves Verdes and he wants some more.” The voice next to him shook him back to reality, “We can do great things, you and me.” Ethan is always enthusiastic.
Diego swallowed his voice. “Mostly me,” was too much to say aloud, but everyone knew it. They loaded into the car and prepared for their Mission.
“Fuck you, God,” screamed a passerby from their car. Diego needed to concentrate. “Just turn it off,” he told himself. A deep breath. “Like a light switch.” Another deep breath. “Turn it off.”
“We should get some rest,” his compatriot grumbled once they reached the hotel. “Tomorrow is a latter day.” Ethan, ever the optimist, always said that phrase but it never made sense for Diego until today. “I am here for you,” Ethan said again in his sleep.
It wasn’t the first time Ethan had spoken in his sleep. “Don’t let anyone see these plates except for you!” and “This is sort of what God is going for!” were frequent mutterings. The calming nature of this statement softened Diego’s heart.
“Salt Lake City is a land of hope and joy.”
Ok this is getting weirdly specific for sleep mutterings.
“It’s not just a story my mother told me.”
What the fuck Ethan.
“Ethan, are you okay?” Diego said as he jostled his roommate awake. Ethan bolted awake. “Yeah I’m fine.” Ethan immediately fell back into a hard slumber.
“TIME TO MAN UP!” Ethan rumbled into his pillow.
“Why do you let bad things happen to me?” Diego thought. He buried his head under the covers. An intermission at least, as he slept.
Diego woke late, the alarm clock said 9am but surely that couldn’t be right? “What are you watching?” he grumbled seeing a poor picture on the fuzzy tv.
“Boba Fett turned these guys into frogs.”
Diego wasn’t sure if it was a statement or a question. “You’re making things up again.”
“I’m going to get one of those donuts with a maple glaze,” Ethan said without even acknowledging Diego’s confusion. Another awful sin, in Diego’s eyes. Diego had a recurring spooky hell dream about maple donuts. Ethan knew this. There was practically no possibility the Comfort Inn near Rio Tinto had that as part of their included breakfast.
With Ethan in the lobby, Diego could finally concentrate. “This is the time for me to step up, why am I so scared?” Zero in, let’s go. The dim glow of the TV had turned to a morbid topic. “A Warlord who shoots people in the face.” What a horrible thing. He clicked over to another channel. “Ancient Jews built boats and sailed to America,” the very flagrantly haired man said.
Click. “Time to share the power inside of me,” Diego thought.
“Diego, Diego!” the giddy sound came between knocks.
“Yes, Ethan?” How could anyone be this peppy this early? “I’m going to baptize her!”
“Wait, who is her and what?” Ethan was going a mile a minute. “Diego you don’t understand. It’s like Lion King!”
“You are not the winds of the Serengeti.” A frustrated sigh. “We’ve been over this, you are not Bono.”
One more deep breath.
“The person handing out bagels was nice to you again, huh?”
“Let’s be really fucking polite to everyone, okay Diego?” An awkward pause fell across the room. Diego had never heard Ethan curse before. “Okay, but she told me about this guy that was an American version of Moses.”
Diego put an arm around Ethan.
“Fuck it dude, let’s go bowling.”