Llllooonnnggg three days: whirlwind merchandising jobs starting in Kelso and Vancouver, Washington then heading southeast three hours into the setting sun, through the Cascade Mountains of Central Oregon ending up in Redmond and Bend, Oregon. Once the tasks complete driving back to Vancouver is enjoyable, cloudless sky, thought provoking sun shine, and a dry roadway some drivers a wee bit overcautious from the winter storm of three weeks ago. Oh my goodness three days, three hours, and three weeks, what does this all mean, I don’t know!
The wide open spaces of Central Oregon and the Cascades gave way to dense driving habits and population of the metro Portland area and by the time I complete two more merchandising jobs in town I am through with driving and drivers. Nerves on edge, teeth grinding (the makings of road rage) enough! Home James. Aaahhh, the sanctity of the dwelling, the closing of the front door on the world, yeah man! My travel bag packed to the gills with Central Oregon soaked clothes gets tossed aside, marked ‘not to be opened until tomorrow’ right now paperwork on the two Portland jobs then more sanctity in front of the television. Barely into the blessings of tv the whirlwind catches up forcing the eyes to close; twenty minutes later I decide an early retirement is called for, not from the working world, no, just to bed.
Sweeping across the room the eyes lock on the digital illumination of the clock which reads: 1049 pm. Only one hour of rapid REM’s and now WIDE awake, click on goes the light out comes P.G. Wodehouse’s The Code of the Woosters; ten minutes into the read eyelids creak shut the book slips from the hands landing opened side down conveniently marking my spot. Again, caffeine like induced eyes open this time I climb from bed and pace the entire upstairs and downstairs floor returning to bed and the misadventures of Bertram Wilberforce Wooster. Will my eyes be dusted with the magical sands of good dreams and deep sleep?
Tick, tock, tick, tock zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ecstasy however, the agony returns as once more the eyes crack open, uuuggghhh. A light on downstairs is the roommate home from Saturday nightlife. Investigating, the L.E.D. light in the dining room with all of it’s cost saving brilliance illuminates yet no human but myself. Checking outside, no car in the driveway but my Scion, no other lights except the one in the corner of my eye a red one on the stove guides me like a laser beam on target. What, how did one burner of the glass top stove get turned on to medium-high?
The stove is barely warm no signs of other cooking preparations; forehead wrinkles with confusion. Did roommate come home searching with the aide of the light turn on burner thinking he would be cooking then shoving off? I recall many years ago at the tender age of sixteen awaking mid-night telling my tv watching brother I had to go to school then biffing off back to bed, he informed me of this folly the next morning while trying not to choke on his cereal. Confronting the roommate next day he says he did not return, turn on a light, waddle to the stove turn it on then leave. Did I turn on the light and stove while under powerful magical sand? Was it just a dream?