Twenty-three years. For this long I’ve roamed the planet, from Beijing to Seattle, from Stockholm to Cairo. I’ve climbed the mountains of Canada, cut a swath through the jungles of Azores, caroused down the streets of Nanjing with Baijiu coursing through my veins; yet, nothing could’ve prepared me for what I would encounter in North Idaho.
With the lobby closed, I found myself without other options. I had to ask my friend to take me around the corner of the bank, for my mission was urgent and of great importance.
Pedal to the metal, the little Subaru screeched across the lot, burning rubber as it made haste around to the drive-thru queue, skidding to a halt right behind a thick, voluptuous yellow truck. Alas, the joy of beholding such powerful machinery was cut short as it wheezed, clouding one Swede’s vision with thick, black, smog, and introducing the decrepit scent of its crushed hopes to my twitching nostrils. Once, this vehicle was in its prime, but from the days of glory naught but a shadow remains.
After an eternity in purgatory, we rolled up to the spot. Like a deer in headlights, my chestnut eyes would dart around, inspecting this unfathomable technology. There in front of me was a camera, a digital screen with a woman, and to my great surprise, a long tube which lead towards the main building.
Legend has it that the smudged imprint of my Swedish face can be seen on the window of the Subaru to this very day.
“Patric. You need to put your ID and check in this capsule.”
My friend held me by my shoulders, attempting to rouse me from my sudden-onset shell shock. Ears were ringing. Explosions echoed with a muted force in the distance, layered with hacking machine gun fire.
“Patric! Your passport! Put it in the capsule!”
I snapped out of it and sprang into action, placing my check, their pen and my passport in the capsule. With iron discipline and steely reserve, I slipped it inside the tube, sending it straight to the poor lady contained within the cramped screen before me.
The capsule vanished from my sight for a moment, before once more appearing. Did it dematerialize and warp to her? Did it fly through the rusted old tubes above? Was it pushed by a massive gerbil? How does such technology function?
Was I in Coeur d’Alene, or Twin Peaks? I no longer knew.