“I’m going to hazard a couple guesses.” The yellow flecks in Fat’s eyes become more noticeable when she happily drinks in my disheveled appearance.
“Digging for buried treasure.”
I shake my head.
“Hmm. Should have gone with my original instinct: grave robbing.”
I shake my head again, groan as I bend over and undo the clasp on Mutt’s leash.
“I fear I just gave you an idea for a future hobby. That’s the price you pay with guessing games, I suppose. Alright, one more and I’ll give up,” Fat’s paw taps thoughtfully against her chin. “The roadrunner outsmarted you again? Tell me you held up a hilarious sign before falling down that cliff.”
I shake my heads and kick off my puddle-soaked runners. My jeans cling to my skin from being so wet; I wrestle myself out of my pants and stand in the hallway in my boy shorts and coat. The hood still covers my hair, though it didn’t save me from the harrowing journey I just faced. I stand there for a few minutes, feeling Fat stare, knowing she’s still waiting to hear what happened.
“That was a debacle.” I finally speak and toss the leash I’m still holding on top of my sopping pants that are now curled in a heap on the carpet.
Fat leans her neck out from the kitchen counter, giving me a face that prompts me to explain.
“It seemed like an easy enough favour: go down to the marina and take some pictures.” My friend, who does the social media for the marina, was out of town. I stare inwardly, oblivious to Fat leaning even closer and almost falling off the counter. “The sun was shining when I left.” I pull out of my abyss and my pupils dilate to see Fat come into focus, “Right?”
Fat slowly comes to realize that what I’m looking for is confirmation. She nods. Yes, the sun was indeed shining.
“I made my tea, leashed Mutt and went for a wander down by the water.” In the ten minutes it took for me to get to the marina, an evil wizard cast a spell to overtake the blue sky with black cloud. Once I got there, things just didn’t fall into place.
“The marina office was closed.”
I close my eyes again feel the frustration of when I found out that I’d missed their hours of being open for business. I had a great plan to sweet talk somebody into letting me inside the locked gates to get some decent pictures. Since the weather had turned, the other sea dogs had hunkered down indoors somewhere. The marina was a ghost town. I had to get creative if I was going to get some shots of the boats, float homes and ship yard.
“Then the rain started.”
It was a light patter for about a minute or two before it really came down. Puddles from the night previous still littered the parking lot and areas between the paved walkways. Unfortunately, the only vantage points for pictures from the marina’s perimeter were off the walkways – lacking forethought and graceful movement, I sloshed my way through a baker’s dozen of those miniature lakes. As I balanced to take pictures with one hand, my other hand held Mutt’s leash and my tea tucked neatly into the crook of my elbow.
“I had to climb a fence.”
I peel off my jacket and roll up my shirt sleeve. Across my forearm are several purple marks that will inevitably turn into bruises. When I arrived at the shipyards, I had to pull myself above the chain-link fence to snap a couple pictures. It’s a good thing there wasn’t anybody at the marina – I’m sure it didn’t look like my actions were on the up-and-up.
“Mutt went crazy.”
The dog, tired of this horrid adventure tried to escape his leash. In doing so, he got it tangled around three of his legs and one of mine. I bent down to unknot the mess, leading to the next incident.
“I spilled tea all over my pants.”
I forgot that my tea was tucked in my arm and as I bent down, the scalding, honey-sweetened liquid gushed out at my mid-thigh and ran all the way down to my ankle. I hadn’t had a sip of it as it was too hot to drink, so my pants became delicious and left me burning in a non-STI kind of way. The grotesque weather changed the temperature of my wet leg instantly. It went from bloody hot to freaking cold. With the cold came misery. But misery didn’t come alone, it came with a handful of random curse words that flew screaming from my mouth; misery loves company, after all.
“It started to hail.”
I was getting a few pictures of float homes before Mutt and I departed. The rain had stopped, Mutt and I were both more wet than dry and then we were getting pelted by Mother Nature’s icy spitballs. I took that as the last sign that it was time to come home.
“Then the rain really started.”
Walking uphill in torrents of rain after such a terrible time seems like the kind of tale a grandparent would tell of when they were a kid. But it’s true; it was awful.
“The pictures I got aren’t very good.”
Fat, surprisingly, has not abandoned her interest in my simplistic recounting. It’s one of those moments that I don’t hate her. She’s still sitting on the kitchen counter, tail curled tight around her body, head cocked slightly to the side. It makes me uncomfortable when she actually listens. I was expecting jack-ass style laughter to burst out of her.
“You should make yourself a fresh cup of tea and have a bath, boss. Today isn’t your day.”
“It hasn’t been my month, Fat.”
Fat ponders this and nods in agreement. “Yeah, April really blew chunks for you, didn’t it? No worries. A new month starts in a matter of hours. Chin up. Also, it’s about time to get an umbrella. This is Vancouver, fool.”