Saturday, May 15, 2010

Road trippin' pt. 0.7 (yeah, ordering sucks. Deal with it.)

"I can't believe this," you say, each syllable punctuated by a drunken stumble that we can feel through the walls. "They're the worst roommates I can think of having."

And this is when you start to cry. Somehow, the inebriated stomps happening on the other side of your door, in your hall, in your kitchen have pushed an already stressful day over the edge into Sobbing territory. I'm about four feet away, but I can't decide if that's too far or too close. I still haven't gotten a read on your signals, you know? Your body language is like Sanskrit and I don't understand what it's telling me.

"I can't--" you say through mid-sob gasps for control, "--can't believe that--" gasp "--this damn apart--" gasp "--ment complex won't--" gasp "--let us have locks--" hiccup "--on our room--" gasp "--doors." Deep breath. "What if--" smaller gasp "--they come in and steal my--" smaller hiccup "--TV while I'm gone?" Another deep breath. Let out slowly.

"You don't have a lock on your door?" I ask, inching my right foot six inches closer.

"No." Gasp. Exhale. Tears tears tears.

"Then let's go get you one."

The tears tears tears stop stop stop when you look up and toss your eyes into mine. "What?"

"Yeah, right now. Let's go get you a lock."

"But it's so late, it's like, what, eleven thirty?"

"Wal-Mart's open twenty four hours a day," I say, offering a silent prayer of gratitude for globalization. "You live, what, three blocks away? We can walk. This town is safer than mutual funds." You chuckle between the last reservoir dripping out of your tear ducts. "Come on, darlin'," I say, taking you by the hand and helping you to your quivering feet.

"But they'll take it out of my deposit when I move out."

"We're not gonna throw away the old one." You let loose a post-cry yawn. I continue. "And we'll get one that's the same color so they won't notice unless they really look. I'll switch the original back in the day before you move out."

"Really?"

"Yeah," I say. "Please don't worry about it. We can keep your stuff safe. Easy."

"As pie?"

"As cake. Which is easier than pie." Your arms latch around my neck and you hoist yourself up to me. I wonder if you're hanging off the ground, floating on relief and I'm glad that the biggest problem in both of our lives right now is the your genial roommate's equally genial brother spewing up Jack Daniels and half-digested corn chips onto your bathroom floor. As we open your door, we hear a splatter of what sounds like Nickelodeon slime hitting linoleum and we bolt for the exit.

We walk. It's two days until Thanksgiving and the November chill is too cold to be romantic. Your arms have slipped into my jacket and, through what I assume to be mitosis, melded themselves to the sweater underneath. Your hands are shaking like a they've been put to the electric chair.

"You okay?" I ask.

"Yeah," you say, "it's just cold."

"Hey, at least you've got earmuffs," I remind, running two fingers through the hair dangling from your head like a baby blanket over your ears.

"Still cold everywhere else." You smile a little and your eyes light up like high beams and, at this precise moment, I swear to God: it stops snowing. I kiss the top of your wool knit cap-covered head and can feel my lips taking a few damp cotton fibers with them. "We're almost there."

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Heading to Idaho. Second half of this section coming soon. Again, sorry about the wacky ordering. BUT YOU'RE WELCOME FOR WRITING IT.

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