I crouch, peer into her window.
Kathy paces in agitation. This is wrong. She ought
to be fitfully sleeping at this hour. The door to Autumn’s
room is closed, as always when I make pre-dawn
pilgrimage. I sense this night she does not sleep beyond
that door. Where is she? A hospital? Has acute illness
or accident sent her into official custody? Is Kathy’s
anxiety thus explained?
Dawn approaches. I whisk myself from windowsill to
most recent sanctuary.
I am not alone. That scent is filed in memory. That memory
is dated not in days but years.
“Peter. How did you find me? Where did you disappear to,
was it five years ago?”
“Ellie, my dear accomplice, ever a creature of habit.
I tracked you. Predator to predator, you understand.
Been in the state motel, you might say. Been under lock
and key, legal sabbatical, confined education.
Luckily they never got me for murder. The creep what rolled
over on me only knew some of my business. Always pays
to keep information need to know. I squared it away with him
during his briefer sentence. Turned out to be life. And, look,
I’m still breathing, and free, at last. I knew you would want
to celebrate with me. Oh, right, you can’t get out to party on
account of daylight. Don’t you worry. We can catch up and
celebrate just fine right here. Yeah, it is a whole lot of squalid;
but, hey, I’ve made do with much worse. And in the spirit of
reminiscing, you ought to know. Peter, he was a bad, bad man.
He is no more. I’ve done away with your Peter. The man who
stands before you is Geoff DeLong, scoundrel at large but
certainly no convicted criminal. Well, maybe I do have some
sinister plans; but the law knows ideas are not actions.
No proof, no crime. Which reminds me, there’s a little proposition
of mutual benefit I intend to bring up in full detail, full disclosure.
I know you will be discreet, my little night prowler. But first,
a drink to our reunion. Well, hell, a bottle, or most of it. I admit
I got started a little early in anticipation of seeing you again.
Sorry, I’ve brought no blood, just whiskey. Not too early to imbibe
if we’re still part of the night. Not your cup of tea? More for me.”
I have no response.
He rambles, drinks, salutes, enjoys my discomfort.
I remember when I had thought of him as a friend. This tweaked-out
maniac is no friend, no kind of ally. I stand imprisoned by his
presence in what should be my solitude. Perhaps this is yet
another time to reflect on irony. I am not amused. I am overwhelmed
by such embroilment of emotions beyond my scope of experience.