So, yup, I lied to you. This story was not finished on Sunday. I had a momentary crisis about writing about an imminent hurricane while one was actively destroying people’s lives. The destruction from Florence is unimaginable to me when I have been in those place, driven down those roads. And, yet, I know that these cyclones and hurricanes have been angry for several years now. Flooding to my friends’ families in the Philippines, Kerala, Hawaii, and elsewhere. My thoughts are with everyone who has suffered through so much.
≡≡≡continued from here≡≡≡
I feel heavy and disoriented after my afternoon nap. Waking in the strange dormitory room of number 16 probably doesn’t help either. The only thing that does is Rufus resting his head on my arm the instant he knows I’m awake. He wags his tale, and I imagine he’s mentally yelling: Dinner! DinNER! DINNER! FOOD!
After feeding him, I go in search of food for me. Rufus’ nails click on the faux hardwood as we walk down the dormitory corridor. From the rooms, I hear various sounds, tv, voices murmuring, music playing. I wonder who these people are. Are they evacuees likes me? Although I am under the impression that Lyle is not operating a shelter for evacuees. The people here have bonded over something else. Something that has come before. However, I do think that he is also doing a favor for friends like he’s done for Mandy to get me place to stay.
Evidently, I missed dinner, but there are some packaged sandwiches and salads in a refrigerator. I grab a cream cheese and cucumber, a bag of salt and pepper chips, and a salad and then make my way outside to sit at a picnic table.
The bad thing about The Dome is the lack of windows. It’s like being in a Las Vegas casino where you entirely lose track of time because you can’t see the outside.
Clouds jettison across the steel gray sky, and suddenly the storm feel imminent, threatening. I guess a part of me had thought that maybe it would change course, turn back out to sea, even if all the meteorologists’ predictions and models said otherwise. Now as I munch on a cherry tomato, it seems the storm is coming. I can almost taste it in the air.
My cell phone vibrates. My mother’s name flashes on the screen. “Hey, Mom.”
“Lindsey, are you coming home? That storm’s going to be horrible. You should come right home!”
My mother lives in Great Falls, VA with her lawyer husband, who is not my father. Because of my father, I am about as far from Great Falls, VA living as a slug is from being a monarch butterfly. My step-father, bless his heart, schmoozes with DC’s elite and once asked me to stay in my room because he couldn’t afford to give the wrong impression. I ran away from my mother’s home and went to live in my daddy’s double-wide until he got married and then I ended up living with Aunt Ruby and Cousin Mandy.
That’s why it strikes me funny that my mother would call Great Falls home when it’s been anything but.
“I’m inland, Mom. I’m safe. I’m staying with a friend of Mandy’s.”
I hear her sharp intake of breath. “Someone disreputable, undoubtedly.”
“Maybe so. But someone who has provided a roof and food without looking for payment.”
“He’ll look for payment. They always do. And not in the way you think they will.”
I roll my eyes. A car with flashing blue lights pulls into the parking lot, and Steve the Deputy Sheriff emerges, places his beige hat on his head, and walks toward me like some hero out of an old western. I can imagine him kicking up dust with each footfall although the he’s walking on green, green grass. My mouth waters. I pretend it’s because of the white balsamic vinaigrette. The one thing that is obvious is that in the past ten years I have not grown smart at all.
≡≡≡to be continued≡≡≡
FYI for future installments this will be under the category Don’t Worry Every Little Thing’s Gonna Be Alright