Lake Effect, Spring 2008, Volume 12: The Great Silver Cactus of Driggs, Idaho

Jeff Fearnside


The Great Silver Cactus of Driggs, Idaho

Munching on a sourdough-and-raisin biscuit at Cody’s Cafe, in the little ski town of Driggs, Idaho, somewhere near the Wyoming border, you open your Rand McNally & Company Road Atlas to see exactly where you are, and that’s smack in the middle of section K-9. You marvel at the synchronicity, for Cody is a shepherd mix of half-undetermined heritage, and it’s his cafe. He has free roam of the place, so he roams freely between the tables as if to make sure everything’s hunky-dory, and if it isn’t, he gives his tail a shake and nobody cares if there are pits in the fresh-squeezed orange juice. It’s a strange place for a carnivore like Cody, you muse, considering the mostly-vegetarian menu.
On the table, a crescent of seeds slowly waxes while you sip your juice and look out the window. Driggs is backed against the Teton Range, and you can’t help thinking that “Teton” reminds you of “titty hard-on.” Pig, you hear a voice say—you’re not quite sure whose—but there they are: a chorus line of unbridled breasts aroused by the touch of white clouds, the mother of them all, the Grand Teton, rising (according to your trusty Rand McNally) 13,771 feet high exactly due east. If you shot an arrow from Driggs and aimed it over that well-stacked Grand Dame it would, provided your aim was true and perhaps with the aid of a good westerly, sail between the forty-third and forty-fourth parallels and land directly (you flip the pages back and forth several times to discern this) in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, which is where you’re from and the city you’re running from, since the woman who once owned the silver Celtic cross lives there. You’re in Driggs, Idaho, and she’s not even on the same page, you think before snapping the atlas shut and returning to your juice and Stonehenge of seeds.