Sunday, January 15, 2012

The trip

The brown shag carpet in the path from door past the two double beds was worn thinner straight to the bathroom as if the car to toilet trip was more common than anything.

It was the kind of dingy room decorated last in the late 50s, early 60s with updates including screwing the lamp and phone to the courtesy writing desk, which had no pens that wrote and no stationary left.

My unconscious dragged that motel room from the shores of Georgian Bay to the mid-west U.S.

We three were in a room, with a fourth present by phone. K was sprawled on the bed with the cell phone to his ear but her voice was still spilling out, the pitch and intonations, even if not the words but his chuckles gave some tone and content away.

T was seated on the other bed, the furthest corner, wetting the end of a pen with chew marks as he composed and wrote. He periodically inspected the ceiling with a squint. It was quiet. The room was surprisingly soundproof. Even the traffic hum was smaller.

I noticed dust filtering down. Is there a window in here? I followed the beam and saw a small clerestory that I hadn't noticed coming in. Odd, for the type of ranch-style drive in place.

There was a burst of motion like a chicken flurrying away from a fox as K headed for a quick shower. A psssshhh of shower starting.

Time lapsed and there was a tremendous thud. T and I exchanged winced looks. We listened. T gave an expansive shrug and hunched to turn back over his pad of paper.

- But he might be hurt. You should check, I said.
- I'm not going in there, T said. He's all naked.
- But he might be hurt, I repeated
- He's a big boy. He can look after himself, T said

I listened. He scribbled the way people who aren't really writing anything scribble words at a page.

- It doesn't matter. It's medical, I said and headed to the door.

Looking in K was lying, still stunned, towel around his waist.
-Y'ok? I asked.

He scrambled up with some wince, and said yep. He faced me. I eyed the low rail of the shower stall. Was that blood? I moved towards him and he went to the left keeping his back away from me. In the fogged mirror I saw a red patch on his back. I narrowed my eyes.
-I'm fine, he repeated in a go away tone.
I tried to turn him but he resisted. I tried to look around him and he backed closer to the wall. I back up and opened the door a crack. Fog started to come off the mirror.
- I'm fine, he repeated, in a more shrugging tone and he stepped towards me. I saw lines of blood running down his back. I left the room without a word and came back in with a roll of saran wrap that I started wrapping around him and his protests.

I pulled him out of the bathroom on the lead of the saran wrap and presented him to T. T didn't look up. I cleared my throat and turned K. The blood was making a large blood blister collecting on his back. T gasped and with an ohmygawd, leapt up and out the door, slammed back in and grabbed car keys and left.

Dream lapse. T returns with a huge pharmacy bag and starts pulling out cotton balls and gauze and tape and bandaids. He seems unsure of what now. He opens a box of bandaids and starts applying cartoon sea turtle bandaids in cross patterns all over the saran wrap.

-What's in your other hand?, K asked
Self-consciously T pulls from behind his back what looks like a long-nozzled oil can made of glass and marked vodka.
- Is that for you or me? K asked
T looks unsure, extends his arm in the manner of people who know they should give but don't want to give this, then, stops the hesitation and with a sure thrust hands it to K. Still the little shy hesitation, something about the confusion of it, and the sudden generosity is so childlike and charming that I laugh and wake up even as K's hand reaches for the bottle.

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