Arcata Sauna Shed --Part II
This is probably self-evident given the title of this post, but please read yesterday's story before perusing this one;anxious though you may be to be 'caught up' with the latest PP Blog!
“Fine. Fine. Yourself?”
PP sighs inwardly. Thank goodness for DHBF.
“Pretty good….pretty good…..” DPK’s voice surprises her. He sounds…. normal. Not like a weirdo at all. Though PP couldn’t tell you what a Weirdo sounds like. It’s just that now she has to re-evaluate. He’s not a Druggie Psycho Killer after all.
See, appearances can be deceiving!
Yet, she’s reserving judgment for now. It’s early still.
DHBF glances over at her, grinning. He likes to talk. (She’s gonna get in trouble for writing that, but it’s true.) “So, you come here often?” he asks.
PP can’t believe he said that and, in fact, he probably didn’t, but conversation in the sauna by its very nature usually starts off with the Banal.
“Yeah….I try to,” Not A Weirdo nods. “Whenever I get a chance. You folks from around here?
“No. We’re up visiting her parents in Eureka. We live in the Bay Area. Oakland.”
“Really? Wow. I used to live in San Francisco.”
“Where abouts?” PP asks, thinking maybe she shouldn’t totally shun the chitchat.
“Well, I used to work in a Meth Rehabilitation Center in the Tenderloin, so I lived over offa Taylor…..”
PP was right! He is a Weirdo! A Meth Worker Guy! See, her intuitive powers hadn’t completely eluded her.
“Yeah, sure, of course, I know the area,” she smiles, “ but don’t venture over there much though they do have some good cheap Indian restaurants in the Tenderloin.”
Meth Worker Guy nods, “Yeah, that’s true. What do you two do?”
“I teach college writing,” PP answers, not divulging that her first job is stealing everyone’s stories from the pool and sauna.
“That’s cool. And you?”
DHBF sits up, “I drive cab. And limo.”
“Really? I used to drive cab too!”
PP rolls her eyes. Here come the cab bonding stories. Damn. So boring. She wants to hear more about working in the Tenderloin Meth Rehabilitation Center. Or hell. He probably was in the rehabilitation center himself. That would explain his seedy used appearance that first clued her in to his Weirdo Status.
“That’s cool,” DHBF nods.
“Yeah, but I had to get out of driving.”
”I hear that!”
“Yeah, so I got my nursing degree and that’s how I got into working with the meth patients and then I came up here with my partner who’s working on her degree at Humbolt State in Criminology.”
“That sounds interesting.”
”Yeah, she went to College of the Redwoods first and then transferred to Humboldt, but I dunno. Things are kinda iffy with us lately. …..”
Meth Nurse Man’s voice trailed off as PP started to hear one of Josh Emmons’ character descriptions in her head. Meth Nurse Man’s name is Randy. He’s a nurse in one of the halfway houses in Eureka, but in his spare time, he makes burl sculptures up in his cabin off of Redwood Circle. His partner, Eileen, is studying for her Masters at Humboldt State, but things aren’t quite going to plan as she’s having an affair with his best friend, Stan, who was the local bar tender at the Red Lion, and didn’t really treat Eileen very well, but only used her for mildly S&M kinds of extracurricular activities while letting her believe that he is in love with her and is gonna leave his partner for her to help pay for her studies at Humboldt.
Of course, all of this, PP thought, was just fiction. Or was it? as she listened to Meth Nurse Man tell his tales of woe about how the situation with his partner wasn’t going so good. She was an alcoholic, who’d been screwing her sponsor, so as a consequence had gone off the wagon and lost her job so now she wanted him to support her, but he wasn’t sure if he was up for bucking up an unemployed drunk, “You gotta understand, Man,” he was telling DHBF, “I love her. Even though she slept with another guy....I still do. ....love her.... Hell I moved up here from Frisco to be with her. But I’m just not sure I’m cut out for this, you know?”
DHBF nodded sympathetically, glancing over at PP who was recording every word and then some in her imagination for her blog.
For after all, this is what she lived for. Soap Opera in the Sauna. And who cares if she makes up half of it. It’s the Spirit of the Sauna that is essential. Not the Truth or Reality as others see it.
It’s all only Her Perspective. Her Reality that matters.
To hell with Meth Man and his Slutty Alcoholic Near-do-Well Partner.
They were only characters on the page to her.
How callous can one get?
PP has to giggle to herself as she heads out of the sauna to read another chapter of Emmons’s novel.
Hell, he probably had a ball researching That Fiction here in Humboldt County, don’t you think?
No doubt. PP grins. No Freeking doubt!