Last night, just before I fell asleep, I had one of those strange dream-images. A single image, that occurs when you are lucid enough to remember and marvel, but comes from out of fucking nowhere. This one was of the freaky recurring alien from the X-Files, shrunk to midget size, standing in the middle of my motel's corrider, eating pizza and laughing at me. That's all. Just that one image. Very Lynchian.
And no, I haven't had pizza in months, and I haven't seen the X-Files in even longer. I have no clue where that came from.
It has been a strange week here. On the positive, normal side, I managed to get a lot done. My bathroom floor is now stripped and intact, waiting for me to slap some concrete board down in preparation for tiles. I have a porch overhang, to keep the snow and ice off my steps. Yesterday I pulled out three broken windows, and slapped up plastic. The house looks happy and actively recuperating.
On the strange side... We'll start with a late night customer at work. A polite, tired looking man came in late one night, red-eyed from driving, and went through the motions of renting a room. Smile, Thank you, and walk out the door. Two minutes later, he was back.
"If we don't stay here, can I get my money back?" Now he was pissed. Flames were shooting from his red eyes.
"Ummm... we don't really do refunds... is there something wrong with your room?" I asked, realizing as I said it that he hadn't had nearly enough time to see the room, much the less find a pubic hair.
"No, it's the bitch I'm with! This whole trip has been a mistake..." and he went on and on, subjecting me to information I didn't at all want to know. Out he goes again, saying politely, "Do what you can, but I understand if you can't refund it." Polite to the end.
Two more minutes pass, and a woman carting pillows and a comforter comes in, and politely asks for a key to the room he just paid for. I asked if I should leave a key for the gentleman. "Oh yes," she replied. "I don't think he'll leave me here - it is my car, after all." On his way up, he dropped the keys off for me to put in the safe. "Under no circumstances are you to give them to her, okay?" Yeah, right.
This was all just icing on the cake, seeing as how I had woken up that night to bloodcurdling screams, and a woman's voice yelling over and over, "Call the cops! Someone call the cops!" Naturally, being a good upstanding citizen, I did. That was before I recognized the couple that just moved in across the street. The same couple I work with, every day. Before I found out that this happens all the time, but no one calls the cops, cause they don't want to get him in trouble.
So I felt a little bit bad. But that was before I thought about it. And before I knew that, in a drunken desire to drive, he had driven over her. So now I don't feel at all bad.
In the city, I used to listen to the fights in the apartment under mine, and wonder when the proper time to call the cops was. No one ever cried, and though I heard furniture smashing a time or two, it sounded like a pretty even fight, no one ever sported bruises in the morning, and the next night they would be back to their karaoke serenading of each other. "You arrrre my songggg!"
My fabulous night of domestic disturbances was a few days ago. This morning, the newspaper lady came in to my work about 4 am, as usual, and we chatted for a bit. "You live in that old store, right?" "Yeah," I said, thinking, hurrah for small towns. I'm known! She gave me a look, and said, "Heck of a neighborhood you've moved into."
She'd heard about the other ordeal, and that morning on her route, she had seen the cops and an ambulance at the other rental across the street. I still haven't found out what went on over there. I'm not sure I want to know. Whatever happened, for once, thank god, I wasn't a part of it at all.
Sometimes reality is stranger than a giggling pizza-mad midget in a motel hallway.
Sometimes. Not always.
And if you add weird flickering colored lights, it's never that strange.