13: When a Third World Came West

            It was a long drive and seemed like it more every moment.  Sam was watching the roads curve up around the Blue Ridge Parkway and I got hungry when I saw a small wooden porch that looked out at the outcrop of the mountain ridge below (a restaurant, stop-in, or deli).  David was driving and I’d heard his playlist two times by now and Sam caught on to “Black Betty” and wouldn’t stop asking to hear it over and over again.  I rubbed my eyes and looked in the rearview (Sam and I were in the back and I don’t why) and my circles looked deeper and blacker but they always looked like that and I rolled down my window and felt the engine have trouble pulling up the drive and thought David should think twice about putting the gears into third. 

            We got onto the campus sometime after one and after I’d piled all my stuff into our room and seen the mattress just lying by itself  I searched around for the sheets I hadn’t bought and figured we’d get some tomorrow.  I thought I’d remembered a sleeping bag and got it out of a duffle bag I’d found in the corner of the room, went out into the living room, gave it to David and noticed that we had blue carpeting.  We hadn’t called the electric company so everything was pitch black dark and I walked onto the linoleum tile in my black sports shoes, and opened the refrigerator so that I could get a better look at what color (honey/walnut) that the cabinets were.  I could see a screen door that opened out onto a wooden deck and a small window that held a view of it and the yard in front of the Science building and lacrosse field, and felt so , so lucky.  There was a blue curodory couch already in the living room that Skye must have brought and another yellowish-brown one facing towards two windows and a small stereo set.  We had piles of things to get from the car and one of them was my stereo set that was better than Skye’s in the back somewhere in the truck.  I was too tired to move.  My legs and hips ached and I walked into the bathroom while David and Sam were busy carrying in loads from the car and I got into the tub with a clear plastic shower curtain and took a cold shower.  When  I got out I grabbed for Skye’s used towel, wrapped myself in it and came out the door of the bathroom which led down the hallway to the washer and dryer.  I’d wash his towel tomorrow.  I could see more duffle bags, my stereo, David’s suitcase, a suitcase of mine, notebooks, a backpack and boxes of plates from where I stood in the hallway.  I turned and went back into my room, saw Sam who was going through his dark bag, picking it up and throwing it into our small white closet, and I knelt down on the floor to unzip the back I’d brought, slip on a thin pink skirt and top, some underwear, my black shoe string flip flops, and say “yes” to Sam when he asked at 10:30 if I was ready to go out.


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