Sunday, March 8, 2009

2am, Holden Beach

Alex is running a 102 fever and I'm over 5 hours away. Even if I could leave right now I am too tipsy to drive and thus cut off by distance and time with thought or hope of mitigating them.

Five minutes ago I was on the balcony. Nick was puffing a Marlboro red and regaling me with his inability to sleep due to a combination of too much food, not enough hydration and weird sinking feelings that twisted up his guts.

Pretty typical convo for this trip. We're on the upper deck shooting the shit when we notice the guy next door. An old man, one house over, is walking down the wooden steps slowly and surely. This guy looks like he's pushing 70. He's moving real slow, too slow. It doesn't help that he's cradling a small purse-sized dog under each arm. We speculate on whether he's drunk or just old.

Nick burns through half his smoke before the old codger hits terra firma. We chuckle and continue to talk about the usual bull shit. Moon's bright tonight. Can't have life without the moon I tell him. Stabilizes the axis, not perfectly of course but does an important job. The old man reaches the driveway and lets the dogs do their business.

"Good job, cocoa!" The old man creaks out a laugh at the dogs shitting in the sand. Creepy fucker.

I can't stop thinking about Alex and Natalie. I know she's in good hands but still, it's natural to worry. Thanks evolution. There's nothing I can do until morning so I try to get my mind on other things.

I slip into the 4 foot long bunk bed where I will take my respite. It's the quietest room I have been in all weekend. Nothing but the tiny whir of the EEE fan and my own rasping keystrokes mars the silence. I don't want to forget the creepy old dude and his dogs.

Life's always a little easier to bear when you see those lower down on the pile, closer to the finish line. I don't know how I am supposed to sleep now. I'll just have to do my best.

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