He ceas'd, but left so pleasing on the ear, his voice, that listening still they seemed to hear.
Sunday, July 05, 2020
Day 187 of 365. 178 days left in 2020!
Site last modified 2020-07-05


I felt roots spring from my feet and begin a slow groping plunge into the concrete floor of the balcony. It felt good. I panicked and jerked my legs into motion before the roots grew too deep. I swept my pack off of the unmade bed as I swept into the room and out the door. Keep your tall trees and red-tinged dusk. I heard the door snap closed behind me, stopped, glowered and growled. I left my coat on the bed, it was 18 degrees outside, and the key card was in the pocket. I turned toward the front desk. A running boy bounced off of me and half the ice in his small brown bucket bounced and rolled across the floor. They reminded me of dice so much I was tempted to yell "Yahtzee!"

By the time I had traversed the thirty steps or so to the front desk I had already considered and discarded half a dozen new destinations. The only thing I was sure of was that wherever I ended up was going to be warmer. Tacoma was nice, seductive even, but right then it was also very cold.

"Sir?" The receptionist broke my reverie. I looked up at her, and my knees went weak. I was looking at my baby. I was looking at my Susan. I had only been roaming the country for about a month, but as long as I was moving, I wasn't hurting, I wasn't remembering. My wife's betrayal, my daughter's tears. Time and distance heal nothing. Suddenly the pain was thick again. My throat constricted and I let out one clipped sob. I hoped it sounded like a cough.

The betrayal by my wife was compounded by my betrayal of our daughter. When I fled from Sarah I abandoned my Susan. My list of destinations abruptly narrowed to one. I looked up to see the receptionist waiting patiently for me. The resemblance was so strong. I resisted the impulse to hug her.

"I'm sorry," I said, "I was daydreaming. May I have a key for room 127? I left my coat in there, and I have to get home."