Jana Larson at The Paris Review:
Bismarck, North Dakota, is a six-hour drive from Minneapolis, but it takes about ten hours by bus. You sit toward the back, next to an old man who sleeps with his mouth hanging open and an older woman with a red checkered shirt and dyed black hair in curlers. She reads a coupon circular like it’s a novel. Just in front of you, three Amish brothers talk among themselves in a thick Germanic language. You eavesdrop and try to figure out what they’re saying. It sounds biblical at first, but occasionally they say things in English, like “solid oak door,” and you second-guess that theory.
You settle in, take out your video camera, and start to film the landscape going by outside the window. You try to imagine you are Takako Konishi—that you’ve watched the movie Fargo, believe it’s a true story, believe there’s a suitcase full of money buried somewhere on this road, and believe you can find it.