Thursday, June 3, 2010

A night spent in the garage

It was just a few minutes before midnight after a long three and a half hour drive from the coast when I pulled into the driveway of the totally empty Grangeville house. A long refreshing shower was in order and I know this was the place to take one. As I enter the side door from the garage, I announced my presence to the emptiness with a tune from the 1982 movie, Annie that went like this, 'the sun will come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, come what may . . .' Forgetting the line that came after that, I decided to whistle instead. I imagined Mr. Warbuck probably whistled better than I did and would have had a better way of masking his fear, if any. Flashlight in hand, this tune carried me throughout the round to make sure all four walls and windows of each empty room were intact. When satisfied and convinced myself that all the bad spirits have left the empty building, I opened the garage door and by design, backed the car into the garage in case of a quick and easy getaway . . . well, now is not the time to think about ghosts and goblins. I rummaged through a small suitcase in the trunk to find a fresh set of clothes to change into.

Not wanting to alarm anyone in the neighborhood, I decided to leave all the lights out except for the lamp on auto timer that was lit on the kitchen counter. It gave enough light in the hallway to the bathroom as long as the door was left open. So, left open it was. The much needed shower was soothing, and instantaneously washed my fear away. It was short-lived—so was my shower. Thinking I heard a scuffing noise from the kitchen, I quickly rinsed, shut off the water, dried off, dressed, brushed my teeth, all in a matter of five minutes. 'Forget the lotion' I thought. Gathering my belongings was done in a jiffy. I already knew where to spend the night—in the car—in the garage.

Like a stranger in the night and making sure that no traces were left in the house, I made for the car, locked myself in, and did a quick check. Flashlight, keys, garage door opener, cracked-open windows for air, and to fill the hunger pain—a Fiber Bar. I decided to opt out on the latter in case it did its job before the sun came out. The thought of having to run to the bathroom in the dark made my stomach more nervous. After a long hard day, it wasn't difficult to doze off as soon as my head hit the lumbar pillow that often traveled with me in the car.

I'd like to think I was already fast asleep and just dreaming about the noises that came that night and the people peering through the dusty, spider web-covered-blinds that hung sloppily over the garage window. I've always wondered why a window and such a large one in a garage. In the 'dream,' an older woman was peering through the crack of the car window inviting me to go inside where it was more comfortable while Papa and Meme paced outside by the window calling out my name. This seem to have gone on forever until I woke up at the first crack of dawn. My mobile phone read 5:16 a.m. Drowsy, a bit confused and aware of the ever presence of knots and kink in my neck, I sat up and decided to move to the passenger seat. Placing my computer bag on the floor and reclining the seat, I was able to get a good stretch and slept till 8 with no interference. I should have taken the passenger seat from the start.

The house that goes back three generations was under the care of property management and I didn't want to be found in the premise should he show up with prospect renters. It was still early, so I decided there was time to put lotion on after my morning shower.

As I roam the dairy farm town that morning and right through the early afternoon, hunger pain struck so I decided to stop at Panera for a bite to eat. As I situated myself comfortably in a booth with an Asian salad and a turkey panini, I decided to write about last night's dream. The night's experience in the garage was so vivid that when I was about to start typing on my computer, the most unusual thing happened. I had hairs standing up and it made me wonder . . .

I never had the opportunity to meet her, but they called her Grama Van.

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