Chapter II: Tail Between my Legs
Oddly enough, I never even doubled back for my tools. Not even for the four-foot level I bought, used, from my bricklayer buddy that died of cancer. I can't exactly place why I just up and left, except that there was this little voice, deep down inside me, that kept on repeating, 'I need to get home. I better hurry!'
Of course I was fired for leaving without permission. But it didn't matter much anyway, because I wasn't planning on going back to work, ever again, for the rest of my life.
The ride home was silent. Only about a fifteen minute trek through the woods. Surprisingly, the drive home was quite calming. Relaxing. Peaceful. Tranquil. Sublime, even. A near state of nirvana. Not a car or other person as far as the eye could see, in either direction. Nothing but swaying trees passing by, on either side of the paint-faded pavement, that stretched ahead of me; seemingly to never end, peering up into a vast, brilliantly blue, cloudless sky. The sun ominously looking down from it's twelve o'clock, high noon, position.
It was so rhythmatic, it was almost hypnotic. It wasn't as if I was driving home at all, but floating there, effortlessly, on a magic carpet ride.
What finally snapped me out of that sort-of trance, was the sight of my mailbox approaching. A huge brick monstrosity I ended up building after running over my old box; while driving home drunk one sloppy and unmemorable night. Lucky too, I suppose.
I turned off route 17, into my long, winding driveway; gravel crunching underneath my tires. I slowed as I neared the house, pulled in front of the garage and put my Grand Cherokee into park. I sat there for a moment, unsure of what to do. Until I felt the gentle tapping atop my head.
I reached up and carefully lowered the creature down to rest, standing on my lap. I stared at him again in that awkwardly amazing bewilderment; just for a second. I then grabbed him and moved him over to the passenger seat. He didn't seem to mind, really. Which was sort of relieving.
Funny, I had completely forgotten about him the entire ride home. Him and his escapade with the serpent, so strangely dispersed, it seemed almost imagined.
I spared the creature a quick glance, as I opened the door and said, "I'll be back for you later"; with a chorus of door chimes singing repeatedly, into my ears.
I thought to myself, braving the walk up to my own front door, 'Let's go get this over with'.