Tom and Aysha take to the road when their desperate life pushes Tom to a drug theft and attempted murder of his drug dealer (Rudy) in the midst of a buy. Stuffing Rudy's stash, syringes, gun, bullets and blanks in his jacket he rushes home to their abandoned apartment with his treasure. After Aysha shoots up they flee town by bus and thumb and finally hitch a ride from an enigmatic character (Bubba), and eventually steal his car, his boots, shoot him full of blanks and leave him barefoot in the middle of the desert, swearing and vowing revenge.
Fleeing East they run into another 'outsider' (Carman (sic)) that has tried to commit suicide by jumping into the trunk of his car as it rolls into a lake, only to have it stop in six inches of water as he bangs on the hood for two days trying to get out. A bond develops and they enlist Carman in a cross-country odyssey that passes through the historical 'Ground Zero' at the Trinity site in New Mexico, and continues to a lost, poetic, dreamy sequence at White Sands.
Carman discovers the pleasures of drugs and revels in their bonding , but eventually finds these two live too hard and fast for him, and when they reach the beach at Corpus Christi, he leaves them.
Aysha's relentless needle use becomes too much for Tom and in frustration he beats her. She turns on him and on their way back home to Minnesota we watch Aysha's decline, Tom's sacrificial acts, and the weight of their visual and psychological disintegration as they make their way 'home.'
In Minneapolis Aysha's treachery turns inward when they narrowly miss Bubba as Rudy, Tom, Aysha and Bubba converge in a surprising, inevitable climax.
On a final, bittersweet note, we see Carman return to his old, incompetent ways.