Blame Canada

We're driving through the barren, frigid February landscape of Wyoming. Passing fields buried in snow. The skies are grey. It's a scene out of the film Fargo. 

 Trey is chain-smoking bowls of super strong Acapulco Gold Cannabis. The car's heater failed in either North or South Dakota. My feet are frozen. 

 The compact Volkswagen we are driving is falling apart. Beside the heater malfunction, the passenger side door lock is jammed, forcing me to get out the driver's side at every pit stop. Truckers call out "Faggots" when we stop for gas. 

 The stereo is top class and worth more than the car. The Stone Roses' Remix album is blaring out the speakers. I think of the displacement of time and geography that went into the remix of this Manchester masterpiece and reflect on the beauty of music. 

 Good music can follow you everywhere and create the soundtrack to your life. It's the reason Trey and I became deejays. Well, that and the sex and drugs and little bit of money we earn. I have no other skills. 

 We're nearing the Canadian frontier. We've undertaken this chilling road trip to visit Carl, a promoter friend I meet in Italy. He now lives in Calgary and runs a club. Trey and I are going to spin. 

 "You better smoke all that or throw it out," I say

 "I'm not throwing it out," says Trey. "It's all I have."

 "You're not taking it over the border."

 "Why not?"

 "Because we will get searched. I've been stopped by every customs agent I've come cross since I was twelve years old."

 "Relax, it's only Canada."

 "Have you ever been to Canada before?"


 "Well I have. It's a real country."

 Trey concedes and proceeds to smoke himself silly. He throws the rest out the window half a mile before the border. When Canada comes into sight Trey is not impressed. 

 "I can't believe you made me throw that away. There is nothing here."

 We pull up besides a little shack by the side of the road. The border guard has long straggly hair sticking out the side of a winter hat. He is wearing a snowmobile suit. The guy sips coffee out of a styrofoam cup. 

 "That guy looks like Neil Young," says Trey.

 "Just roll down the window and be polite."

 "What's your purpose in Canada, eh?" Neil asks. 

 "Just visiting a friend," Trey says. "See a bit of the country."

 We don't have work permits and can't tell about the gigs we have lined up. Carl said it wouldn't be a problem. 

 "What's with all those crates there in the back?" Neil points to our record boxes stored in the hatch back. 

 "That's our records."

 "Some sort of files and that?"

 "No man, tunes, you know, vinyl."

 "What do you do?"

 "We're Deejays," Trey proudly explains. 

 "Oh, well, you see we have had some problems in Alberta with those raves, people renting out spaces and not paying the proprietors, Canadian children getting hooked on drugs. This isn't good. Please pull over to the left there."

 "We're club deejays man," Trey complains. "I haven't played a rave since 1994."

 "Yes well, please pull over there."

 Trey drives the car to where Neil points. We park in front of an old barn. Then the doors automatically slide open. Another man appears, he is clean cut and in uniform. He motions for us to drive in. Trey does. As soon as we park, the car starts to descend.

 "What that fuck is this!" Trey exclaims startled. 

 "Must be some giant lift."

 We come to a stop two levels below ground. It's like we have entered a James Bond lavatory. Top-notch high tech computers surround us. Lights blink with function and mechanical machines make low hums. More uniformed men are standing with their arms crossed across their chests with legs set firmly apart. 

 "Please exist your automobile."

 Trey and I are worried. We both stumble out of the drivers seat. This causes the men to move in on us. 

 "Hold it right there boys!" Commands one of the men rushing forward. He seems to be in charge. 

 Trey is out of the car but I'm caught in an uncompromising position sprawled between the seats with the gearshift smashed against my gonads. I move to make myself more comfortable.

 "I said stop!"

 The man brushes past a dazed and stoned Trey and grabs me by the hair. He yanks me out of the car.

 "What do you think you are doing?"

 "The door on my side is jammed. I have to always get out the drivers side."


 "What is all this about?" Trey asks. 

 "Hank said he saw a seed."


 "Inspector AB 123, agent Hank Howard."

 He means Neil Young.

 "A seed?"

 "Yes, a seed from a marijuana plant." 

 "We don't have anything, honest." Trey says.

 I think Trey is going to be too honest and tell the man about me forcing him to dash his stash. Unfortunately, in his high condition it's worse than that.

 "Listen," says Trey. "Just between you and me, so you know where I'm coming from, I'll tell you the truth. I used to live in Paris as a deejay. About once a month I would go up to Amsterdam just to party. I smoked up, took Ecstasy, loads of cocaine, even sniffed a little heroin. But you know what? I never tried to bring it back to France. Don't worry I'm cool." 

 "So you admit that you are a drug user?"

 "Well, who isn't?"

 "Come with me please."

 Two of the guards escort Trey into another room. 

 "What about you?

 "I used to be on Prozac. Now red wine is my drug of choice."

 "Don't be funny young man, this is a serious situation."

 "We don't have anything, seriously."

 "We'll see about that."

 I'm told to stand in the corner, which I do for about two hours. I could use a cigarette. I left my pack in the car. I don't want to make any more suspicious movements. 

 Then the commander returns with a stern look on his face. He is holding back a vicious snarling German Shepard. 

 "The fun and games are over."

 "What do you mean?"

 "Your friend confessed you are smuggling heroin. He said it's your deal. When I let go, Shep here is trained to attack wherever there are any traces of contraband."

 I don't say anything. Now I'm confused. I've known Trey fifteen years. How well do I really know him? Could he really be a drug smuggler and have blamed me to save his own ass? Maybe last night Trey stashed heroin in my pockets and this dog is going to bite my dick off.

 The commander lets go of the dog which charges toward me. Right before his jaws clamp down on my groin he stops and holds his ground. 

 "I don't know anything," I say really frightened for the first time. "If you found something on him it's his fault. I don't know anything about it. You have to believe me."

 "Please step aside and stand in the corner again."

 Four more guards carrying mechanical toolboxes start to dismantle the car. They take the wheels off, open both side doors, search the glove compartment and unload the record cases, which they drop indelicately. 

 Trey stumbles back into the main room with an abject look of horror on his face. He shuffles toward me, then leans against the wall. 

 "What happened?"

 "They searched me."

 "Yeah, they pulled that dog trick on me as well. I almost pissed my pants."

 "No, I mean they searched me, a fuckin' cavity search."

 "They put a finger up your asshole?"

 "The bastard used two."

 "Oh. Did you tell them I was smuggling heroin?"

 "No. Did you say anything?"


 It's another three hours before we are allowed to leave. In total we have been delayed five hours, all this bother for a supposed seed. I realize they never checked my passport. On the rest of the trip Trey doesn't say much. 

 When we finally do reach Carl's apartment there are a few people waiting for us. I jump into party mode and take Ecstasy and drink champagne with two cute blonde girls. Our posse heads off to a club. Trey excuses himself and goes to bed early. 

 The next afternoon when I finally wake up I find Trey outside in the winter cold vacuuming the car. He has hooked the vacuum to an extension cord and is hoovering out the hatchback.

 "What in the hell are you doing?" I ask. 

 "We have to cross back into the States at some point. I want to clean the car."

 The least I can do is help. Now that the passenger door is fixed I open it up and check under the seat. I find a pipe caked with resin. Those inspectors tore the whole car apart and searched it with their dogs and somehow failed to find this pipe. I slip the pipe into my pocket and decide not to tell Trey.