I walked through rooms toward the exit. Through rooms which seemed to be crying, "Stay! Live here! We need living and pulses and hearts!"
I just left anyway. Feeling I had left the rooms bereft and lonely.
I drove the van down highway 288 and stopped at the liquor store just past the city limits. I bought a bottle of cognac because the glamorous couple on some soap opera had spoken of drinking cognac in front of a fire and it seemed romantic.
The fat, red-haired lady behind the counter glowered at me through wisps of smoke emanating from the cigarette hanging between her chapped lips.
I took my package back to the van and began driving toward the beach. It seemed as if I bought the bottle in summer and arrived at the water in the winter. Funny how you remember things.
The beach was cold and deserted. Deserted except for trash and seaweed. The sky was grey and full of bluster. The wind, coming from the north, blew sand from the dunes against my back as I sat southward.
I watched the waves roll and crash, their crests high and foamy from the wind. The sand was packed hard and was cold and damp. Pretty soon my ass was wet.
I opened the bottle of cognac and took a sip from the bottle. I'd never had cognac. I didn't much care for it.
I wondered if Ed had ever had cognac. I couldn't ask anymore.
I wished I had bought a back up six pack in case the cognac didn't work out.
Ah what the hell. I drank some more. Didn't seem as bad the second time.
I looked out at the Gulf of Mexico. By the sixth sip or so I thought maybe if I could swim out to the Yucatan I could kick this thing that seemed to have hold of me. But nobody could swim from Freeport to the Yucatan.
I gave up on the cognac and got back into the van. There was a 7-11 out by the highway. I stopped in and bought a six pack of Miller High Life. I drank it on the way back home.
I returned to the rooms. They didn't seem too happy to see me. I certainly wasn't happy to see them.
But they were mine. A little spot of mine. When I left them they seemed to want me to stay, when I stayed they seemed indifferent.When I was drunk I shouted at the walls. When I was sober I just looked at them and waited.
I don't know what I was waiting for. It never arrived in a package or in the form of a person.
"You just look around I guess, that's prolly how you find it." he used to tell me. "You can't just sit around and wait for something to happen, you gotta go out and look for it. Even if you don't know what it is, or where it is. Just keep your eyes open and start looking."
I'm still looking.
Maybe in a stolen car in a foreign country under an assumed name.