Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Great White North Part II

I open my eyes.
It is sickly hot in the condo.
And I like things warm, but even for me it is too much.
My mother calls out that I can eat breakfast.
I throw the covers off my legs and roll to a sitting position.
"What time is it?" I croak.
I dress in sweat pant shorts, socks and a t-shirt.
Sometime today I know I should work out, so I dont worry about my appearance.
She informs me we need to head to the dental office.
I throw on my sandals and Iohane's hoodie that I've taken over, while grabbing the handful of candy I have left over from the car ride up.
My mother comments that mine is the breakfast of pixies or fairies. Something ridiculous.
I grunt a little but do not return a comment.
It is much colder out than it looks.
And I wish that I wasnt wearing shorts. The cold air bites at my exposed legs. But I'm too lazy to even complain.
I hop in the drivers seat. The truck is warm.
Though I wish I could figure out how to use the remote car starter.
Cold Lake is so spread out. 
It has little out croppings of residences spread between large expanses of highway.
Seems stupid.
Sometimes all you can see is highway and trees. Not much for civilization.
We pass a seemingly dead end turn that I've never noticed before.
The woman informs me the new house is down that corner.
I think to myself that I dont know why she bothered to tell me, I wont remember where it is.
We drive further into Cold Lake.
I inquire if their small mall has a bookstore.
"There's one downtown. Tho I dont know if it has new books or just old books. Probably both."
I cringe. Call me a snob but I like buying nice books. I like the feel of them in my hand.
What kind of place doesnt have a chapters, or some equal equivalent?
We stop at the dental office.
My father is busy seeing patients.
My mother is putting stamps on envelopes.
I wait awkwardly by the front, trying to stay out of the way of assistants running to and fro.
My mother asks me if I've met the employees.
"I have but not like it matters. I wont remember their names anyways."
My mother concedes that it takes time to learn names.
We head out to the post office and bank.
I inquire after the bookstore.
I am determined to have something to read to occupy my time.
I stop in front of the post office and let my mother out. I am pulled up to the corner.
A car waits behind me, expecting me to continue driving straight or turn right. 
I do neither.
Eventually they'll figure out that I'm not moving. 
The truck is so big though. Its awkward to pull it to the side of the road.
So I stick out on the street a half a foot.
I look around me.
This is downtown Cold Lake. It is bompin.
My mother returns. And we turn up another street.
"At the end of this street is the bank. The bookstore is just on the left."
It looks ghetto. But then so does the street.
I enter the store. I will not leave without finding a book to read.
It smells like old furniture. Like old people. Like old.
I wander around. The books are sparse and some worn looking.
But I weave through the isles.
Not a huge selection but it will do.
My mother comes in with a tinkle of the overhead bell.
I look up lazily and go back to perusing.
I bought Natalie the Mortal Instruments Series for Christmas. They have that.
But is three books excessive?
My mother suggests Inkheart. I probably would enjoy it.
On the front wall there is a copy of the Time Travellers Wife.
I decide that is the book.
Bonnie didnt give it a stellar review but I'm willing to make my own opinions.
I pay and we leave.
My mother crosses in the middle of the street. I walk along the cars parked and wait for the stream of cars to go by so I can J-walk.
"I actually crossed on a crosswalk." My mother informs me. "It doesnt look like one but it is. I always cross there so I can avoid the liquor store at the end."
We drive back to the office.
I park across two staff parking places and let my mother run in to drop off the mail.
I open my book.
I'm tired.
But I begin to read. Just a few pages, but I can already tell this will be interesting.
My mother returns.
We need to go to the new house.
We're waiting for the Satellite people to come set up the dish or something like that.
We drive back along the highway. Past the little mall. Past what looks to me like a high school but is most likely a fitness center. Or police station. Or both.
We pass the turn off to Cold Lake National Park.
We turn onto the unobtrusive corner. It doesnt even look like it leads to anywhere.
Just trees, flat ground and the road can be seen in the distance.
But eventually a bunch of houses appear.
The new house.
It was strange for me to think of my parents having an apartment somewhere other than our home.
A house is really just as strange. A permanent strange.
As long as they dont sell our house, they can live their separate lives.
I wander through the house.
It has weird closets. With plastic shelves instead of someplace to hang things.
Strike One Cold Lake House.
But it appears to be nice enough.
I immediately wish that I had brought a blanket or pillow.
The house is quite empty.
I lay on the carpet by the windows and read.
I try to eat minestrone soup my mother packed for lunch on the carpet.
My mother scolds me and tells me to eat it in the kitchen, in case I spill.
I begrudgingly move to a stool in the kitchen.
I am a child, when I ask my mother if there are any snacks.
I'm not really hungry so much as bored.
She was going to go get some stuff to put in the house.
I offer to go so I dont have the responsibility of waiting for the Satellite guy.
And so I dont have to sit on the floor of the house anymore.
She tells me to ask my father how to turn the water on too.
And take him her phone, since she has his.
I am in no rush.
My head aches.
My stomach complains.
I run the obligatory errands.
To the apartment, to the office, to the house.
And return back to the apartment again.
It is hot in here.
Even though I turned the heat down.
Opening the door it rushes out at me.
At least the locks were easier to open this time.
A nap calls my name.
But I have the only car with me.
Both my parents are stranded without me.
And I have no means by which they could contact me.
Eventually I need to return back to the House with soap, paper towel and maybe snacks.
But for now I lay on the air mattress my father uses as a couch, in front of the black tv.
Cold Lake.
How strange.


Alaya said...

This was poetic, and beautiful. PS. Im going to critique all your posts. Not. Just two. And know this- while you do not have your phone, i will not stop sending you random texts whenever i feel like it. Sooooo you can deal with that when you get home Ms. Im-going-to-cut-off-all-communication-and-run-away-to-a-frozen-wasteland....Yeah, I said it.

Shel said...

I love your candor Melissa. So happy your mom & dad are moving into a house.. Hope all is going well... luv ya