A fish out of water
The process of moving is tough enough my husband Paul has been hired on in a large city as a Detective in special victims. We have always lived in the country. I am not a church mouse but I do a bit feel like Alonzo Purr; Alonzo is a character in a book I read to our son, so many times it’s still in my head. Here is just one sentence: Alonzo Purr was the captain’s cat of the ferry boat Liza Lee. The story goes on to tell that Alonzo made fun of a city cat ended up on the boat by mistake, he did not understand why the cat was so afraid all the time, till one day Alonzo got lost in the city, he then realized why the city cat was so out of sorts being on a boat. So here I am feeling a bit like Alonzo purr.
I told Paul about this he laughed and said “Honey all you have to do when you feel out of sorts is purr; it will at least bring you back with a smile.”
“I think I like that idea, also Paul I am thinking since we now live in a large apartment instead of a house with a yard, I will not know what to do with myself, would you mind if I get a part time job?”
“Actually, Jamie I think that is a great idea, give me a couple of days to get to know everyone and I will ask around; see if anyone knows of a part time job.”
Within 2 weeks I was working 30 hours at a local dry goods store walking distance from our apartment. Which helped me with my claustrophobia, I am so used to being outside or inside a large house to care for, I needed the space and freedom walking to and from work.
This store was interesting you could buy, fabric, sewing goods, bath towels, socks, as the sign said Morrison Dry Goods. The Morrison’s are in their 60’s they opened this store 30 years ago. No need for advertising everyone in the area knows they are here and what they stock. It reminds me of a small town; everyone comes for the latest gossip then walks down the street to either the Pub, or Dora’s Place which is a diner. I went to Dora’s place her husband is a retired cop, had lunch and started to feel more at home than ever before.
It has been a year now and I feel at home, no longer am I purring the Alonzo Purr theme. Paul is coming into his own these days, he and Rusty, Dora’s husband have become close friends. They told us all about John Somers and their daughter Samantha. That must have been awful I cannot imagine all they went through, but glad to hear Samantha is now working social services special victims; she has credentials as a profiler; incredible success story.
Now that we have met so many within walking distance from our apartment it seems I am getting used to the hustle and bustle; there is always things to do. As a matter a fact Dora said anytime I am bored I could come and help at the diner. Which I have, for the most part locals come to dine, once in a while a new faces show up and Dora always makes sure to introduce herself and try to get to know the new comer; not sure if this is being a good business owner or if it is still a reflex from being married to a retired cop, added to that what happened with Samantha.
Samantha is a beautiful young woman, expecting her first child; she married Greg Garrison’s son Gary, thus the name of the pub GG”S Bar and Grill, they run it together.
I already feel like part of the family, which helps with my homesick feelings that still arise once in a while but not as often due to these sweet people in our lives.
I really like working at the dry goods store, remembering everyone’s names was tough at first , now I not only know their names but some family members as well. Mrs. Morrison said “You are starting to act like Dora when a stranger comes in, I kind of like that, you never know when that may come in handy; either gleaning a new regular customer, or if something happens in our little part of the world.
After work on Fridays I walk over to Dora’s and meet Paul for dinner, if he has time we go across the street for a brew or two. When he works I wait for Dora and Rusty to close up and I go with them. This Friday Paul was so busy he could not come to diner, I decided to go home instead, I stopped by long enough for a takeout and told Dora that I will curl up with a glass of wine and a good book tonight.
Paul called around 7pm to check in and tell me he loved me said he will be home late do not wait up. I asked if it was his keys on the dresser, I could hear fabric rustling and he came back and said,” I will knock sorry I guess in the rush this morning I forgot them thanks.”
I heard the knock, sounded like it was far off; my mind was foggy from sleep and too much wine. The next thing I knew strong arms were around me, his scent was not the same as Paul’s, by the time realization started to creep through my fog, it was too late I was taped up and in a trunk of a car, moving quickly bouncing down the road. I started to cry, and then berated myself reminding myself that I need to focus on sounds, and the condition of the road, how many stops and turns.
We were on the expressway, I heard cars pass us, for a very long time, I think at least 3 hours, then a dirt road; by the time the car stopped and the trunk lid lifted, it was day light. I recognized the man right away, our ex neighbor Martin. What the hell Martin, I mumbled with the tape on my mouth.
He was irate when he said “You were never supposed to move, I thought I could get over you but I could not, so I had to bring you home.”
I thought to myself Fuck Paul will never figure this out, they will never find me.
Looking to the left, my heart ached realizing just beyond those trees I lived with the love of my life, which I may never see again. I released a combined sob, sigh; Martin said, “Jamie, relax I have your room made up the way you like it. You will feel at home in no time. I make coffee the way you do, I know your recipes which you had given me and been practicing them, I will take such good care of you and I have a little surprise for you.”
Soon as we entered the living room Martin took off the tape around my mouth, and hands he said he would return them if he had too. I knew I could not out run him he was on track in high school and college, played college football and is still in shape. I cannot imagine how he figures we had this kind of relationship, where is this coming from, we were neighbors, and actually he was more like a girlfriend.
He had me sit in a chair at the dining room table said he would be right back, that I should behave or I will miss the surprise. I sat, I needed time to formulate a plan, as I sat there I heard tiny paw steps and in came Putter when he seen me he ran, barking and whimpering simultaneously. As he jumped into my arms I started to cry, he was licking me I was kissing his head and hugging him. Paul and I looked for him a week or so, leaving a week late; my heart ached wondering what happened to him.
“Martin you son of a bitch, I cried months wondering what happened to Putter, if you really care for me you would have told me you had him. What the hell is wrong with you I thought we were friends.”
“Nothing is wrong with me, it is you! At first when you moved we stayed in touch through Facebook, emails, texting but eventually I was lucky to hear from you in a week, then it was two weeks, what kind of friend does that, stops staying in touch. You replaced me with someone else. I am a good friend I did not even mind you were with Paul I am a good friend. I have taken good care of Putter; why in the hell did you call him Putter.”
I sat stunned by what he said, answering him took all my effort to control my anger I did not want this to be a pissing match “When he was young he would fart a lot until we found the right food for him, it sounded like a putter from a motor.”
Martin laughed at that and said “That makes sense, and do you realize of all the years I have known you this is our first fight. We sailed through it even closer. You two enjoy each other I will make some coffee and breakfast.”
Now I had more than myself to worry about, I so want to get out of here but I could not forgive myself if something happened to Putter in the process.
We had breakfast on the back porch, I knew I had to eat what was placed before me or Martin would be offended, he made my cilantro dilly eggs perfectly. Putter was chasing a squirrel and looking over his shoulder making sure I was still there. I have to admit I miss all the trees and grass, one thing the city cannot offer.
When breakfast was done I helped with the cleanup, it had started to rain, wind was picking up, thunder which is something Putter hates, I took him in my arms and set with him on the couch.
The storm warnings started going off, warning of a tornado Martin took me and putter in the basement, there was a room built which took up half the basement, he told me to go inside I would be safe there, he would join me if it turns out to be necessary. I went in turned the light on Martin locked the door.
It finally occurred to me the furniture was the same furniture we had in our guest room. Before we moved we downsized our stuff, Martian had bought everything that was in the guest room plus two chairs from the living room, set it up as it was in my house. This is just creepy, I could hear the wind whaling outside Putter was trembling, then I heard steps coming down the stairs, heard a loud bang, suddenly silence. I laid Putter on the bed and tried the door; it was not locked but blocked by something. Pushing hard I tried to move what was blocking the door. My persistence paid off, it finally budged enough for me to squeeze through, I looked up and seen the sky clearing, no more house, but there was debris everywhere.
“Martin! Martin!” There was no answer; taking the small table cloth off the end table I made a sling put Putter in it and started to make my way through the basement, I needed to be careful since I only had slippers on. Making it to the front yard where many of the trees were down I seen emergency vehicles going by one stopped I called out “Hey! Help over here!”
I started to walk to the person coming my way and was so hoping it was not Martin at this distance I could not be sure. When I heard a familiar friendly voice say:“Jamie! Is that really you? Paul is worried sick looking for you what in God’s name are you doing here?”
On the way into town I told him and said I did not know where Martin was, he said he knew he was impaled on a tree with a large limb stuck through him and the tree.
It seemed like forever before Paul walked through the door of the fire station, he said he was on his way here when the storm hit. He found some conversations I had with Martin on my computer; Martin had Private messaged me a few times which Paul had guessed I did not see because the messages became more and more irate.
I told Paul I became busy and had not logged on for a while. When we first moved I was a fish out of water, until I settled into a routine. I cannot wait to go home I am now a city cat.