Juxtaposition: Part Six of Angel
“…i found the last stick of my favorite incense
and it is saggy and limp
all sad and smoldering
in the corner of my room
by the speaker
its smoke being swayed slighty
by the music…”
Macy woke up to another exciting day. The sun shone through the windows of her mahogany furnished room. She was caught in the onslaught of morning rays. An alarm clock placed conveniently across the room (sometimes she still had trouble getting up) blinked twelve.
“Oh, great!” She grumbled as she stumbled out of bed. “I'm probably late.”
The coffee wasn't made. The dishwasher hadn't finished. Her laundry was still soaking wet. On top of that: the dry cleaners called to say the stain wouldn't come out of her favorite suit. The House of Beds left a message to inform her that the four post bed she ordered arrived but was missing a part, so it wouldn't be ready until Sunday (two days after Adam would arrive).
She found the only clock in the house that ran on batteries and she was late. But she could come in at lunch if nothing else went wrong.
There was a knock on her door.
“Now what?!” She stomped towards the door and threw it open, unaware that she was still in panties and a comfy, sleeping bra. “Can I help you?”
It was a gas and electric repair man. A very impressed repair man.
“Umm,” He swallowed, “Hello, Ma'am.”
Just then, Macy realized that she hadn't put on any real clothes. Last night, she threw her morning robe in with the rest of what she was washing, not at all expecting the lights to go out while she slept. Along with that, she realized the repair man was staring at her breasts.
“My face,” She caught his eyes with a steely glare, “Is up here. I'd appreciate it if you'd look at it while you spoke to me.”
The repair, man whose name was Jeff-- obviously, because it was sewn to his shirt; and no one short of a blind person couldn't read it-- seemed taken aback.
“I-I I'm sorry Miss,” He followed directions beautifully and it was straight to business from that point on. “We at Lancaster Gas and Electric wanted to apologize for the power outage you may have experienced. One of your neighbors was… trimming his tree and a limb fell on a street side telephone pole.”
Macy knew the neighbor the man was talking about. He preferred to trim his trees by using a rock, a rope and his four-by-four truck. He was very sweet, and just a little eccentric. Her anger subsided just a bit when she realized what had happened. She looked at Jeff and thanked him, then closed the door.
At least she had power again and no one was hurt.
After the washer had resumed its course, and the dishes began to rinse, and the clocks had been reset, and the coffee started to steam, Macy took a shower. The stress of waking up to find what seemed like a disaster slowly melted away. She didn't mind that her favorite suit was ruined. In fact, it was a little old.
What a nice excuse to go out and get a new one, she thought.
And, about the bed; well, she could just get a futon that Adam could sleep on for a night. Macy chuckled at the way she had been when she first woke up. She was glad the alarm clock wasn't able to wake her up. She hated that thing anyway. Last night was the first night in a while she had allowed herself to get a full night's sleep.
Since she had been voted the Best Lawyer in Lancaster, her clientele had nearly doubled. She found herself almost drowned in a flood of pleadings ,wills, and court room hearings. Not to mention the stream of bullshit coming in from her line of work. Probate was supposed to be the less stressful side of family law. She did wills, living trusts and estate plans. Every once in a while, she handled adoptions (but those were only special circumstances). What she didn't know when she decided to fly solo and build her private practice was: family law was family law all the way around.
Just yesterday she got a call from Bill Matherson. He was in a panic. He told Macy that his sister was trying to keep the house. How Bill found out about that, Macy didn't know. Maybe the bitch had called him up to tell him. It was her job, once again, to reassure him that the house was clearly left to him. But his sister, Laurel, was going contest the will. Macy told him not to worry, that she would do everything she could not to let that happen.
Sometimes she felt that her personal commitment to her clients, and the amount of work she put into every case, was a bad thing. True, she did feel constantly worn out. But she was doing good things. She knew was. It was she who helped the entire Jewish community of Lancaster receive their reparations from the holocaust. She helped to ensure that a home left by a dying mother was left to her gay grandson in hopes that he would create a safe place for others like him. Making change, she told herself, that was what kept her going.
But if she didn't get to work in time to sign the Frankwell documents, she wouldn't be going anywhere.
Adam woke up from a bad dream. Scott was in it. God, he missed Scott. He still didn't know whether or not to tell Macy what had really happened. She wouldn't be satisfied with his lame cover-story. But how long would it be until she pushed him into telling the real story?
He couldn't help remembering how Scott pushed him that night, until finally telling him the truth about his scars. They called to him now, in remembrance. His fingers traced the ghost of a wire hanger across his side. If Adam kept the secret, he knew, it would live inside him. It would have power over him.
I wonder what happened to mom.
Guilt washed over him suddenly. He had left his mother behind. That was something he had never wanted to do. Ever. But he had. And now here he was. Maybe he could call home from a pay phone, at the next stop. If his father answered, he could just hang up. He needed to piss.
Adam jumped off the top bunk and pulled his pants on. Poochie was there to great him. The boy picked up Poochie and hugged him.
“Hey, Poochie!” The dog barked. “Good morning, Poochie!”
Poochie munched on a bread roll that the boy pulled out of his bag. Meanwhile, Adam went to the bathroom to take care of his business. The train shifted as Adam brushed his teeth. His mind turned to Cole, the handsome boy that he'd met the night before.
Cole was handsome. He reminded Adam of a friend he'd known when he still played baseball. His name was Josh, looked just like Cole. Just like Cole, Josh's dirty blonde hair was always in a messy mop whenever he didn't wear his cap. Except Cole didn't wear a cap. Though Cole had light green eyes where Josh had blue. They were piercing. Just like Cole's. Cole had broad shoulders.
Adam brushed his hair idly, wondering what Cole would look like in a jockstrap. It was the first time that he had thought about sex in three days; which was a long time for him. He wondered if he should feel guilty. The lump in his pants said otherwise. But Adam didn't know for certain.
Just as he stepped out of the bathroom, Adam noticed the train slowing. Through the windows he could see they were going through a town. Behind a large wooden gate, cars were stopped. Children were waving. Down a little more, he could see a pack of boys flashing the train. Adam wondered if he would have been like that if he lived a rural area.
“Hey, kid!” It was the steward.
“Hey Randy,” Adam replied.
“You should get your dog,” People were beginning to come out of their cabins. Adam was confused, “Why?” He had just woken up, after all.
“We're gonna be stopped here for a few minutes.” Randy opened the door and looked forward, towards the station, soon approaching. “Might be nice to let him out to do his business, ya know?”
“Oh!” Adam got it now, “Yeah, I'll get him now.”
Poochie was awaiting Adam's return, dorwising lazily. The golden lab was balled up on the seat that Adam usually sat in. His leash was waiting on top of the boy's bag. Immediately, Poochie came to life when he heard the jingle of the clip. Adam had taken him out right before he went to bed and the dog had been waiting for what seemed like years until he could go out again.[haha, its forever to them! Dog hours!]
Adam walked him dutifully around the station. Poochie was a courteous dog. He did his business in the bushes where no one would notice and where Adam wouldn't have to pick it up.
With ten minutes left until the train departed, Adam decided to call home.. He shoved in a dollar's worth of change and dialed his home number. He bit his lip nervously and flicked his head to one side, forcing his hair back over a shoulder. The phone rang. But no one answered. The message machine picked up. He heard his father's voice apologizing . . . . He hung up immediately. Adam wasn't really expecting anyone to pick up, anyway.
An announcement sounded overhead. His train was leaving. He tried to shake off the feeling that everything he'd left behind was lost now.
This story is copyrighted 2004-2005 by Gabriel Duncan.