Something about the day after Yule/Solstice perks me up. I get all crazy and giddy and feel like I’m about to burst. The SUN is on the RETURN! Holy Crowley! F&ck Yeah! 🙂

Take a peek into my world today at 11:00 am…

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Aliah drives me downtown in what I have begun to call the Wheezing Wagon, although Sputtering Subaru is a more appropriate description of the vehicle. Wheezing Wagon just rolls off the tongue easier. The damn thing barely runs and I keep half expecting to have to hoof it home after one of these excursions. I really hope it’s not this excursion, as we have a few stops planned…all not exactly what I would call walking distance from the U District, and all involving transporting some items that are not just things you can throw over your shoulder.

Greyhound Station, Seattle 09.2006

Stop one: rescue my suitcase from the Greyhound station locker. This is reason we are going downtown, a few miles from the U District, and although I guess a return trip could be done on the bus in case of car failure, it sure wouldn’t be fun. The old Samsonite is very heavy, both with my stuff and just the general build of the suitcase itself. I don’t think they were too concerned about weight restrictions on airlines or the effects of lugging heavy objects on a person’s spine back in the 70’s when the thing was made. It’s one of those hard-shell plastic-composite things in the largest size imaginable without being a sea-going steamer trunk…the kind with the insides that snap in place around your clothes and then the whole thing closes up like a clam shell. Except that the insides on this particular suitcase have long ago gone the way of the dinosaur, 1970s disco and my dear great aunt to whom it used to belong. It was lost among a bunch of junk in my parents’ basement a few years ago when I found it and decided I could more easily live with the faint smell of mildew and an unidentifiable fragrance of potpourri emanating from the thing than I could with living under the same roof as my mother for one more freakin’ minute. Since then, the potpourri fragrance has faded, although the mildew smell seems to be here to stay. Either it hasn’t transferred to my clothing, or I just can’t smell it…and I sure hope no one else can.

Second stop: Todd and Chris’ apartment, at Aliah’s insistence, because Todd said there is a futon mattress begging to be adopted for free. I try to conceal my relief from Aliah as she tells me that it is not pre-used by Todd and Chris themselves. Not that it’s that big a deal who’s been rolling around on it, but I just rather it not be the two gay guys whom I’ve had the pleasure of hearing do their thing in the other room for a few nights while I plugged my ears in the other room, tangled up in the spare comforter on the floor. Todd said the futon is this girl’s in their building…a neighbor that is moving and is graduating to a “real” mattress when she gets to her new place. When we roll up to the building, Todd and Chris are coming out to meet us and Todd waives at us enthusiastically.

“He-eyy!” he sing-songs as he gives me a hug and a smile. “How’s my Sugar-butt? You like the house?” He looks to Aliah. “Does she like it? She gonna be your new roomie?” God, I hate it when people talk about you like you’re not there. But Todd is sweet, and has helped me a lot, so I resist the urge to grimace.

“Oh, yeah, we’re going to work out fine!” Aliah answers him. “And maybe she can get some work at least part time at Twice Told on the Ave. I called Doug earlier today and he said she should drop by, so…” She nudges me and smiles…again. “…I dunno, we can hope. “

I pull a smoke out of my bag and dig around for a light. “Well,” I say, blowing a cloud of smoke through my nose. “I do need to have some money coming in, of course, but I also need to find out what I can about what happened to Shayla, ya know?” Did these people not realize that my best friend had just, poof! Disappeared? For all their help and happiness you would think this was just a regular ‘oh let’s move to a new city and have some fun!’ thing.

“No, of course!” Chris pipes up. “We know, honey-bun. We just need to get you settled and situated and then you can focus on that without a lot of extra distractions, you know? “

“Yeah,” continues Todd. “Once you’re centered, we’ll all sit down together and see if we can’t come up with some ideas where to start.” He looks at Aliah. “Right?” He winks. Oh, yeah…he thinks he’s psychic; a little voice inside my head nudges me. Remember?

“Oh come on, you guys, “Aliah cuts in. “She’s not a kid, she knows what’s what. Let’s get this damn futon on the car…thank god it’s not raining!”

“Yet.” I point out. The clouds over Puget Sound are starting to turn into the color of the bottom of an ash tray, varying shades of ash, and there’s a film of what looks like wetness dulling our view of the islands. Forget about the mountains on the peninsula…it was as if there was nothing beyond the grey mist but an abyss of infinity.

“Right. Yet! Come on, or else by the time we get this home we’ll have a soggy mattress by the look of it.” She nods her head in the direction of the storm that is no doubt starting to whip up frothy caps on the gun-metal water.

Chris goes back inside and returns with rope, garbage bags and, of course, duct tape. “Well, “he shrugs. “Just in case. You know.”

© 2008 D. Kessler

Strom front over sound