Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Wanderlust part 55 "part of the great and stunted landscape of my emotions"
I woke this morning thinking it was Saturday. It had a Saturday feel. I felt lazy and calm. Until I realized the man was not beside me and my brain kicked in to do a tally.
Freakin' Tuesday. Now that was just cruel.
Good morning, lovelies. Wish me luck today. I am drowning in several books all in various stages of undress. Ooooh, nekkid words. Yeehaw.
by Sommer Marsden
For the first time ever, we took up the two beds in the room. The coverlets were very autumn based as far as colors, looking very much like runaway Thanksgiving projects gone awry. A burnt orange with brown trim that made me think of my favorite shirt in the third grade. Nineteen seventies-something for sure.
I crawled under one and expected to fight sleep tooth and nail. Instead, the whole world slipped away.
I opened my eyes to bright yellow shards of sunlight and stared at the stippled ceiling. My mother had always said a stippled ceiling indicated water damage and someone trying to cover it up. She had, at one point, wanted to try her hand at real estate.
All I knew about stippled ceilings was we had one in the guest room. And when an ex-boyfriend had tried to win me back by sending me a bouquet of one hundred balloons, the stippled ceiling had reduced the number by a third by the time I figured out what the rapid-fire popping noise was.
I stared at the ceiling and sighed. “This is captivating, Aurelia, but how ‘bout you grow a pair and talk to him.” I said it low, under my breath so Johnny wouldn’t hear me. But when I turned to the other bed, it was empty.
“Hey, I was thinking…what a royal douche bag I was last night.”
Douche bag. Bren’s favorite childhood insult. One my father had once scolded me for using by saying, “No need to talk like a common stevedore, Aurelia.”
I snorted at the memory.
There had been no answer from Johnny to my apology. No noise. No nothing.
“Hello?” I called, trying to sound both sorry and amused.
There was a lancet of fear. Like being stabbed by something very cold and sharp and the right on its heels an overwhelming heat that made me wish I could step out of my skin. I felt a sinking feeling in my chest and my gut and had to swallow hard because my mouth had become dry.
“Don’t do this,” I said to myself. “Don’t panic.”
I stood and walked to the bathroom. The only place closed off from view. In my mind I pictured him in there, shaving or brushing his teeth or whatever. He simply hadn’t heard me. I pictured him on my short walk—that felt like miles—to that little white door. I was creatively visualizing Johnny Rose being in there when I damn well knew—hell, I could feel—that he wasn’t here.
The stark empty bathroom regarded me without emotion.
“Son of a bitch.”
I pulled on jeans and shoved my feet into shoes. I checked my purse to find that everything was there. I’d just go get some coffee.
“That’s probably where he is, Really. It’s Thanksgiving and he’s off getting coffee or food or hey, even dinner stuff. He’ll be back.”
But the air around me and the thump of worry in my belly goaded me. I did not feel like he would be back. At least not today. I had that empty sucking feeling in my middle that I always got right after my mother died and I’d wake up—momentarily having forgotten that she was gone—only to realize she would not be there in my day. Anymore. Ever.
“Are you gone forever, then, you asshole dipshit motherfucker!” I screamed and winged my poor purse at the wall.
The sudden rage surprised over me and I gasped. Then panic set in because everything scattered just like when the guy bumped me at the convenience story.. Yeah, that was what I needed. No travel partner. And now I needed all my shit to be scattered and missing.. “Duck fucking, douche bag, scum sucking, moron,” I added.
I scooped it all up on hands and knees, realizing that I had yet to put a top on and was in nothing but the bra I’d fallen into bed wearing. I touched my precious change purse about seventy times and then said, “Fuck it,” and shoved it into my underwear until I had the mess cleaned up.
No need to triple-check a change purse that was riding shotgun next to your girl business.
Then I sat on the floor and cried. It was then that I really hated him. I had barely cried my whole life. Wanting a son, my father had done his best to raise me as a boy. You don’t cry when you’re angry or sad. Especially not when you are frustrated—which was the mother of all crying triggers for yours truly. You did not even cry at death. You were hard, in control and stoic at all times.
It was part of the great and stunted landscape of my emotions. You did not cry. When I cried for my mother and caught him frowning at me, it was the first time in my life I had told my father to get stuffed—in so many words.
But here I sat crying, letting all this shit out, the way I had been doing rather frequently since one big bald-headed pain in the ass had walked into my life. And worse than the tears was the damn self loathing I felt at being so weak as to shed them.
I wiped my face in two big scrubbing motions and blew out a big breath. And then I hauled my ass up, yanked my change purse out of my panties, found a sweater, grabbed my bag and set out to get coffee.
I needed coffee.
It was probably past noon but my body wanted coffee and my mind said that was a nice normal thing to do on Thanksgiving. Get up and have some coffee.
Even if you were having a nervous breakdown.
The stairwell made men nauseous. Everything was white, the fluorescent lights were nearly blinding and all the turning as I fled down the flights had me woozy and off balance by the bottom.
“Hi, hi there, hey,” I said as I rushed into the tiny lobby to the front desk. “The big huge guy I came in with? Have you seen him? Did he come in for coffee or anything?” I was babbling and the young kid at the desk—who looked all of nineteen or so—was looking at me like I was crazy.
I felt crazy.
“No ma’am. I mean, I saw him got get in his car an hour or so ago. You don’t miss a car like that,” he said. “Classic…but totally in need of a paint job.”
Classic? A seventy-nine? How fucking old was this kid?
“An hour ago?”
Christ how far could he get in an hour. The bottom line, the real question was…was he coming back. He had left no note but he had left a bag with his razor and shit in it. As if he couldn’t buy a razor oh…anywhere else on Earth, right?
I shook my head, my mind was spinning.
What was with me and the god damned coffee?
He shrugged. His name was Bert. His little red nametag told me so. “There’s a diner across the street.”
I snorted. Without thinking I said, “I’d rather be eaten by rabid wolverines than go to a diner.”
He blinked at me, his face having paled a bit. “Um…oh, well…there is bar down the street. They open at noon. They have coffee.”
“Good. Good. What’s it called?”
“Hallowell’s. And I think they have food. Probably, not great food, but it’s food.”
“Thank you, Bert,” I said.
I walked out into Utah. Fucking Utah. Now what?