Wednesday, July 04, 2007
The Bubs Interview: Question 1 Part 4
Needless to say, when I woke up the next morning I was still crabby about Michael's verbal thrashing the night before. I felt somewhat trapped because I really didn't want to address my problem with Michael in front of George, or worse yet, do anything that would cause Michael to launch a new attack. Having temporarily forgotten how emotionally evolved I am, I bristled when Michael greeted me with a warm smile.
"Good morning," I replied curtly.
"How did you sleep?" Complicated question. The truth was that I didn't sleep well at all because I was so angry. However, since I had already been unable to sleep because of the high emotions, I was simultaneously able to enjoy the sound of George's loud snoring during a large portion of the night. In my temporary emotionally unevolved state, I took the easy way out and blamed my poor night of rest on George.
"I couldn't sleep through all that fucking snorning," I announced, as if randomly acting like a bitch was going to solve anything.
I still feel bad that I said that, especially since it was not George's fault that I couldn't sleep that night. Worse yet, as I found out years later, is the fact that George actually overheard me say it. And not being one to pass up the opportunity for a good guilt trip, he still finds occasions to bring it up to this day.
"Oh, that's terrible," Michael replied. "Why don't you reserve a separate room for the trip back so that you can sleep better," he suggested, genuinely trying to be helpful.
"Whatever," I grumbled as I collected my belongings and headed out to the car.
When Michael and George were ready, we went back to the diner for breakfast. Not surprisingly, it was a fairly quiet meal during which I remained mostly silent. I'm sure George was thinking I was just one of those crabby morning characters, the kind that grunts and barks out orders until an appropriate level of caffeination is reached.
After we were done eating, George retreated to the restroom again while Michael and I went out to the car. As he sat down in the driver's seat, Michael started to make some kind of joke about not knowing how to operate the automatic door-unlock button. I decided enough was enough. I looked him right in the face and spoke my mind.
"I did not appreciate the way you spoke to me last night. You owe me an apology."
"You're right," he replied. "I'm sorry."
"You were out of control."
"Yes, I'm sure I was. And you would know more than most people how to spot that kind of behavior," he added, obviously referring to various members of my somewhat colorful immediate family.
"Yes, I would. And you were."
"Again, I'm sorry." I appreciated that Michael just laid his apology out there without trying to blame his behavior on the fact that he'd been feeling sickly most of the trip.
"Ok." As Michael started up the car I decided things were going to be all right.
We rode a ferry from St. John to Digby, Nova Scotia, and we sat in the cafeteria drinking coffee and chatting during the most of the three hour crossing. The weather was wonderful outside - only a slight wintery chill through the early December morning sunshine, and the waters were still and calm. Good thing, as I'm known in some circles for my occasional short yet violent bouts of seasickness.
When the ferry had reached its destination, we got into the car for the final leg of our journey: a two hour car ride from Digby to our friend Timothy's house on the southwest coast of the province. We enjoyed the rustic beauty of the drive through the western half of Nova Scotia. "It looks like Wisconsin," I stated repeatedly, without adding that any rustic place with a lot of coniferous trees reminds me of Wisconsin.
"Yeah, well remember, we're not headed into any lap of luxury. Timothy's house is pretty spartan," Michael reminded us.
"Sounds like fun," George and I both replied. After a while we arrived at Timothy's house, a charming fisherman-style cottage right on the water. The white paint was peeling in most places and some of the shrubbery looked like it could use a good pruning, but otherwise the house looked fine.
Greeting us warmly, Timothy ushered us inside with our bags and provisions. The first room we entered was the kitchen, a large open square with the four walls painted various colors and an oblong table alongside a set of frosty windows. In the corner nearest the table sat a cast iron wood burning stove.
"The whole place is heated by wood," Timothy noted. "I've got one stove here and one in the front room. The heat travels upstairs to the bedrooms through these ducts in the ceiling." He pointed to the kitchen ceiling "duct" above the stove, which was really just a large open hole into the room upstairs.
"I hope he doesn't have any toddlers crawling around up there," I thought, summoning every inch of my willpower not to start in with the charred baby jokes, which I figured would never be appropriate before cocktail hour anyway. Timothy directed us into the next room, a small living area furnished with another wood stove, an armchair, a non-functioning old fashioned parlor organ, and a tiny bed in the corner nearest the stove. A large woodpile sat just opposite the bed on the facing wall.
"This stove heats this room and the two front bedrooms," Timothy noted. "That bed used to belong to one of my friend's kids. He outgrew it by the time he turned 10, so I moved it in here as a daybed and an extra sleeping space for when I have a lot of company." I could see what he meant; the bed couldn't have been more than 20 inches wide.
"I'll sleep there!" George announced. "That way I can get up in the night and feed the stove so that the rest of you can stay warm." How magnanimous of him, I thought, especially considering that it would also probably be the warmest spot in the house. We were heading into late afternoon; the sunlight had grown dim, and I sensed a distinct chill in the air as if winter were preparing to beat down on us right through the walls of Timothy's rustic seaside cottage.
It was definitely going to be a cozy Christmas.