Staying with Momma and [Liz] in a hotel room. We get in late and find two teenage girls have crashed the place. One’s caught rummaging through a bag and tries to play it off while the other is napping under the covers. All our lights have been shut off, and Momma rushes us to throw whatever we can into the car. We start out with luggage and once that’s full we start stuffing things into white trash bags. Books, stuffed animals (I remember Pooh Bear, Chip, a Sonic doll, possibly my Cabbage Patch doll), and a lot of broken plastic toys. We assumed once we’d done that we’d throw away all the trash. A man is arguing with someone outside the window of our room and [Liz] and I crouch low to the floor as we work. Momma suddenly bursts in and grabs hold of [Liz], dragging her out and shouting for us to go. I hurriedly ask my sister if everything else has been stowed in the car and she says yes. I grab the bag nearest me and [Liz] holds on to the one she has as we race outside. I fall into the passenger seat but [Liz] can’t open her door and begins screaming as I fumble with it over the seat as a car pulls in beside us and tries to cut us off. Panicked, Momma tells us to scream to get his attention to lure him around to our side of the car so she can gun it, and we do as she says. The man – skinny with glasses and a goatee and a resemblance to Jeffrey Dahmer, may have been wearing a plaid shirt – stumbles to our right and starts throwing rocks at the windshield. One cracks it, but by now Momma’s backing down the driveway (we’re now fleeing a house on a dark street). She murmurs she can’t see out the back for all the bags and the car feels like it’s moving slower and slower. The man hesitates then heads around the front of his car.
I wake up in a cold sweat. As dry as my eyes are, my right eye won’t stop weeping. I hear the Shawshank Redemption credits kick in as I step into the hall …
- March 21, 2012
© Algy O’Connell