Or: Teresa and the Dungeon of Near Death
Got up at oh-five-dark-and-sleepy, Rocky got me to the airport in plenty of time. I got on the plane, plane took off on time, no bumps, no hitches, no muss no fuss.
Well, maybe a little muss and fuss. I sat next to a grumpy, incommunicative little man who passed noxious gas the whole flight. But that’s sort of something I’ve come to expect. Travel has a deleterious effect on some people’s digestion.
Got to the airport in Boston, found out Barb was in a completely different terminal, but she got there in enough time to orient herself and find where I would be.
Good thing too, because my eyes were watery and difficult to focus for a while after I got off the plane.
I got my suitcase, and Barb and I hiked to the shuttle bus area where we looked for our shuttle to Enterprise Rental. We saw every other possible type of rental car shuttle, but no Enterprise. Barb went back to the rental car phone bank to make a call, and three Enterprise shuttles came all in one glob while she was gone.
At Enterprise, we were greeted by a fully-staffed counter of freshly-scrubbed and smiling faces in shirts and ties. And I mean greeted, handed bottles of cold spring water, had our hands shaken, were asked about our flights, checked in promptly, and given excellent directions to our destination (including an offer to print out a Google Map, which Rocky had already done for me.)
We got on the road, and began our aimless wander up the coast of Main, taking wrong turns there, and right turns that turned out to be wrong there, and wrong turns that were actually right at the other place…
Oh, that reminds me of something I wanted to say:
“HEY NEW ENGLAND!!!! YOUR SIGNAGE SU-DIDDELY-UCKS!”
There, just had to get that off my chest.
We stopped at Red’s Eats in Wiscasset on Sue’s recommendation (she had been through there days earlier) and the lobster roll, crab cakes and fried zucchini were delicious. The ice cream was rather…eh.
A nice couple we met in line gave us their card, and a sales pitch for a patent medicine that was made from a rare asian herb that would cure all migraines and cluster headaches and a whole list of other seemingly unrelated conditions. It had changed their lives. Uh huh.
More driving, beautiful country, lots of fun chatting and catching up and such, and we finally arrived at N.E. Harbor, where our “cabin” was. We drove all over the place trying to figure out where 76 Harbor Street was, only to eventually find out that somebody (who shall remain nameless) had given us the wrong address and it was actually 76 Summit.
Our friend Alicia, her two daughters and Sue’s daughter walked down to rescue us. There was much rejoicing.
We were exhausted, so I pulled the air-mattresses Sue had loaned us out of my suit case, and we began blowing them up. I got light-headed pretty quickly, so while Barb took a turn at trying to inflate one of them, I went in search of something to help. I thought we might hook a vacuum hose up to the exhaust and use a vacuum to blow up the mattress. I’ve done this before, so I asked about a vacuum.
“In the closet” said Sue.
“What closet?” I asked.
“There’s a door in the entryway.”
I looked around the entry-way, and sure enough, there was a door. I opened it, and there was a defunct dust-buster sitting on a shelf an arm’s length in front of me in a very shallow closet, cloaked in shadow as it was late at night, and that corner of the entry-way was not well lit. I pulled it out and examined it. The thing had probably not worked for ten years. There was rust on it. I went to put it back, and it tipped off the narrow shelf. As I leaned in to right it, I took a step forward…into NOTHING.
My hands shot out and braced against the wall in front of me and the wall to the left. My back slammed up against a shelf that ran along the wall to my right, and friction held me there as I yelled, groped with my foot for the floor that wasn’t there, and yelled again.
More foot-groping, one more yell. Three seemed like a good number of yells.
“What?” Sue demanded, sounding irritated.
“No floor! No floor!” I yelled, or something like that. It’s a little fuzzy. I was still holding myself up, one foot on the threshold, braced at three points by hands and back against walls, and most of my weight dangling over blackness that should have been a floor.
Sue’s daughter brought a flashlight, and shined it down the hole, revealing a steep stair-ladder Chimera going almost straight down into a stone-walled basement filled with junk.
I pushed HARD with my right hand against the back wall, and got myself back out of the “closet”, shut the door, replaced the hook-and-eye latch, and tried to catch my breath.
“That door was sealed off, we couldn’t get it open.” Said Sue, still sounding irritated. She also pointed me to the identical door on the opposite side of the entry-way...where the closet was. It was not immediatly apparent from the side I was on at the time.
“It opened right up,” I replied.
Then I realized that I was probably walking into an already tense situation, and with Sue and Amanda’s help, Barb and I got the air-mattresses inflated, and I laid down and listened to everyone debate endlessly how the logistics were going to work to get everyone somewhere that they wanted to be tomorrow.
Eventually, I said something like, “I don’t care what we do tomorrow, if I’m not asleep in 20 minutes, someone is going to die.”
Plans for the next day were hastily concluded, and I fell asleep to dream of falling and being stuck in a dark dungeon with rats all night.