Thursday February 12th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about: the third wheel.

I figured it was about time I revisited the gang.

Max and I made our triumphant return to the play cafe this morning. When Kat found out that was where we were headed she told Max, "Hurray! Because you're healthy enough to go there again!"

To which I replied: "Close enough."

Thankfully I only had to wipe his nose once while we were there, and I think he coughed one other time as well. He's definitely at the end of this illness and certainly past the contagious stage... but that's not necessarily obvious to an outsider, and I didn't want to get grief from any of the other parents there.

We're heading back to Osoyoos tomorrow morning for a visit and so that I can get some more work in on our bathroom renovation. The plan is to come back on Sunday morning and I don't know how much internet access I'll have until then.

So if a post doesn't show up tomorrow or Saturday (or both), that will most likely by why.


It's kind of funny, when I take the time to think about it. Even though I'd known Tammy for over a year before I met Crystal, whenever we were all together I always thought of Tammy as the third wheel.

We'd gotten along pretty well during that time - still do, I guess I should point out. But a close bond never really developed, for various reasons. I guess chief among those was how much time she spent with the thoughts swirling around in her brain.

She'd share a lot of them... eventually. And the vast majority of them were fascinating to me. But in between those bouts of gregariousness there was a whole lot of silence. Comfortable, for the most part, but I'm the sort of girl that enjoys a little more conversation than that. Someone a little more outgoing and fun and spontaneous.

Someone like Crystal.

Tammy, with her short, messy brown hair and conservative outfits (a skirt that revealed her kneecaps? Must have been a mix-up in the laundry room!) and preference for old movies over nights at the club. She never wore glasses but I've always thought she ought to, if that makes any sense. Next to Crystal, the statuesque, fun-loving blonde with the flirtiest damned smile I have ever seen, it's little wonder who I'd rather hang out with on Friday or Saturday or... pretty much any night of the week, actually.

I think Tammy was aware of her place in our trio. She's too smart to not have noticed. She seemed perfectly okay with it though. I think that's one of the reasons our gang worked so well together. We each knew where we stood and had no complaints about our position.

Tammy was the cerebral one, the thinker. If that meant she often didn't have much to say, that was fine by me and Crystal. Because when she did speak it was almost always worth listening to.

Like the afternoon she first started talking about how the three of us could get away with robbing a bank.


Greg said...

Well done on not scaring away the other parents and children with the fear of disease! It sounds like you all had a good time there too, and a little cough isn't going to upset people (unless there's an outbreak of tuberculosis going on I guess...). Good luck with the bathroom, and try to make the sledgehammer the second resort instead of the first :)
I like these three girls all the more as you share more of their details with us. They certainly seem like an interesting bunch, especially Tammy with her quiet thoughtfulness and then her dramatic and exciting ideas. And her conservative dress style too; I have a definitely idea of what she looks like!

The third wheel
Dave was soaked, though he was not entirely sure that that was the right term. As they'd ushered people inside the bunker, making them cover their noses and breathe through their mouths so that the rotten Great Canadian Mushroom mountain didn't make them vomit (any more than they already had) Vince had spotted a large door with a three-foot wheel-handle over to the right. He'd beckoned Dave over and pointed it out.
"That'll be where the Great Canadian Maple Syrup lake is," he'd said, sounding almost reverential.
"Great," said Dave. "That has to smell better than this!" So he'd spun the wheel and the door had creaked open, slowly at first, and then gathering speed. Gathering speed, because, as Dave had learned, the Great Canadian Maple Syrup lake had a door at the bottom to let the lake out, and this was it; this was why the door was huge, and pressure-sealed, and needed a wheel to be turned to open it.
Vince has picked Dave up from where the wave of syrup had deposited him and sat him upright. "That was awesome!" he said. "The way you body-surfed for 40 metres!"
"Saturated," said Dave, his mind feeling dislocated.
"Huh, Dave?"
"I'm not soaked, I'm saturated," said Dave. He dragged himself to his feet, sticking to anything he touched. He saw another door across the corridor, also opened by a wheel.
"What's that?" he said pointing. Somewhere dark in his head a little voice tried to scream not to touch, but he couldn't really hear it; he thought maybe the Maple Syrup had drizzled in through his ears and insulated his brain.
"Pressure door, Dave," said Vince. "Maybe we shouldn't touch that one."
"Bugger that!" said Dave, determined not to let Vince tell him what to do. He pulled himself free from Vince's grip, and spun the wheel.
The door swung open slowly, and lots of little bottles fell out, cascading over Dave. Vince backed away, holding his sleeve across his face.
"Whuh?" said Dave.
"Weaponised smallpox!" said Vince, his voice muffled.
"Righ'," said Dave. "Nothing broke. I think."
He looked through the doorway and saw another pressure door on the other side. "What's behind that then?" he said, pointing at the third wheel.
"I don't want to know, Dave," said Vince. "I do not want to know."

Marc said...

Greg - sadly, I believe we're past the sledgehammer stage. Ah, well.

Ah, I do enjoy Dave's endless enthusiasm for opening doors which are best left alone.

... but that's probably because I'm not in there with him.