Today's the kind of afternoon that turns everyone else off. Eerie yet the bright white -- normally seen in the winter -- with chilly wind. The sky’s a blanket of clouds thick as can be without dropping rain, and they filter the sun light as it passes through, painting the landscape glum. This weather gives me thoughts I can’t have in other weather conditions. In fact, weather conditions dictate a lot the kind of thoughts that come to me. It just happens that I’m allured by the ones that arise in these glum conditions.
Winter's been over for a minute, but it's still cold enough that I’m wearing a beanie and spring jacket as I walk back after my lunch back at the apartment with my gf. She had made for us Polish crepes with two filling options. Home made sweet cream cheese and lingonberry jam from Ikea. After eating, we drink coffee and I tell her about what Sam and I’ve been up to back at the hotel.
Sam’s dog has not pissed or shat in nearly 20 hours now. The hotel we’re staying at allows dogs, but Sam didn’t feel like having to take the dog outside so he hasn’t given him water or food since the evening before. Sam himself is also abstaining from food. He explained that his digestion can't handle much. He also describes how he is able to taste whatever he eats for days after.
I think about what someone might think if they were to somehow learn that the dog hasn’t been fed in 20 hours. I imagine them being super pissed. I picture someone forgetting the rest of their life and pouring all their energy into shaming Sam, or me for being a bystander. I think this as I walk along the main strip of the quaint downtown that our college town has.
A block later I look up at the hotel in the distance. It’s the newest in town, and the most bourgeois. We booked our room for two more nights as Sam crawls through withdrawal. There’s nothing happening in town so the rates were half their normal rate.
As soon as I get through the turnstile door, I'm greeted by a smile. I ask if I could get more complimentary Keurig coffee cups. Three decaf. Three regular. She gets them for me and wishes me a great day. I thank her and take the stairs up to the fourth floor.
Room service is taking care of business. One of employee sees me as she comes out of a room holding a load of towels and says hello as I head to the corner where our room is. The noise of television leaks faintly through the door.
When the lock makes that electronic unlocking noise, Sam’s dog starts barking and I can hear his paws rubbing against the hard floor. Inside, the TV’s volume is obnoxiously high. Sam turns it down and tries his best to order the dog to calm down.
“Hi. Have a good lunch?”
“Yep Looks like you got some food yourself?” I spot an empty long rectangular togo box and a generic plastic bag.
“Yeah, I got some sushi. Hey you want my miso?”
I shake my head. Not because I don’t like miso, but I because I'm scared of eating something Sam’s touched. I look over at the bathroom and see two bowls on the floor. I ask Sam what he's been up to. He tells me he’s taken the dog for a shit and piss, but was too tired for a walk. I tell him that's good. I ask him about what he's been watching on TV and he tells me that everything is garbage and that he's come to hate commercials. After sitting on the couch in the suite watching the TV with him for awhile, I get up to go into the bedroom so I can do some work.
“Let’s take him with us when we go out to dinner,” I suggest. The dog has been licking his paws for ten minutes straight now.
Sam reluctantly agrees. The reluctance is all physical. He says it’ll be a painful walk. I ask if it’ll be good for him. He hisses and groans to himself while nodding and saying it would be.
“Okay. Let’s go in like two hours?"
"Sounds good. Just let me know."
I go to the bedroom and setup the Keurig to make a breakfast blend coffee. I go to shut the door so that the loud television doesn't distract me when the dog comes in to be with me.