So, I sat there staring him in the face. It was easy to sense the fact that he was dying, the way he spoke, the look in his eyes. His eyes were dull and hollow, lifeless, like looking into outer space, or a dark pond, no movement just stagnant thoughts and unfulfilled desires.
Sixteen-year-old Jack and his friends decide to visit their friend, Jerome Wysanski, who is dying from a rare disorder caused by a brain tumor. The visit and Jerome's subsequent death leave a lasting impression on the group. After Jerome's funeral, they decide to embark on a road trip to celebrate life.
Their journey takes them from Reno to Las Vegas, San Diego, San Francisco, and back again. During their travels, they encounter various odd characters and experience love, loss, close calls, and even death. They meet transvestites, transsexuals, mental patients, and documentary filmmakers. Disease, religion, murder, and suicide attempts test their friendship, culminating in the ultimate decision to either remain together or separate forever.