We rented a 2005 Dodge Ram 4×4, grey with a red capper top, from a guy who doesn’t like over taxation and who is concerned that the WideEyedSpouse’s new hologram infused New York state driver’s license will be remarkably difficult to counterfeit. The rental rates were hundreds cheaper than one of the chain operations. The truck is sticky with years of mysterious stains. The side panels are dense with underbrush scrapes. “I buy ‘em prescratched and pass the savings on to you,” the guy told us. For once I feel no fear that I’m going to be fiscally punished for a minor rental car infraction. I didn’t even use a cup holder for my iced latte yesterday. Madness I know.
We stayed the first night in an airport Marriott. The toilet overflowed for no reason. The light switches had grime encrustations. The floor corners desperately cried out for a solid vacuuming with a crevice tool. Other guests were also given our room so that the door slapped against the security lock five minutes after I crawled my head-colded, jet-lagged, dehydrated self into bed. “Is someone in there?” they called in to us.
This morning I am lounging in a soft featherbedded mattress looking out over a rain drenched perennial garden to a misty Kachemak Bay.
All night the rain pattered on the metal roof and the birch trees fluttered in a small wind. I’m in a treehouse, I’d think. Then, no, I’m on a boat, an old boat with a wooden railed gangway between me and the open sea.
For the same price as the begrimed city Marriott we slept in someone’s mad dream – a self-built compound of small outbuildings and gardens with cats and hens scurrying through the blooms.
There are rules here, no shoes inside, no cats inside, park at the end of the compound…I had to sneak over to an earlier breakfast seating to score some coffee. But so clean. So calm. No anxiety pheromones leached into the walls. No thunderous Chinese and Korean air cargo jets landing on the roof. Just windows and flowers and a rooster crowing now and again.