Okay. So time to put the puzzle pieces together. Well, the immediately important ones.
So what happened after this but before these two?
Well. I'll admit, I've never been the best about obeying the law. Quod est necessarium est licitum
That which is necessary is legal. So I drove from Ottawa to Montreal, in about half the time it should have taken. There were speed limits broken. I stopped near a hotel in montreal to pillage an internet signal, which is when the second post was made.
The end of Spencer's post is probably a fairly accurate depiction. Synchronicity, for those unaware is essentially the principle that events and co-incidences can have meaning despite being seemingly unrelated at first glance.
For instance, the fact that I should stop in front of the same alleyway to use the same internet signal as Spencer when he is incapable of travel and I don't have a place to stay. I prefer serendipity, or even providential myself.
I'm not going to get into how we got across the border south of Montreal. The less said about that, the better. Not that I remember much anyways. I kept expecting someone to stop us, but we got through alright. If I were religious at all, I would be thanking a god in some capacity. I kept driving and ignoring the speed limit. Stopped a few times to give my hand a rest. I think I forgot to mention the state of my hand. The left one is currently enjoying a fractured thumb and index finger. I'd splinted it with a few bits of pencil, and then wrapped my hand up in gauze and duct tape to keep it immobilized. It sort of felt like it was filled with bits of glass and then covered in a mitten filled with glue.
But enough of that. There's a surprising number of vaguely british names in Vermont, and every once in a while we'd do something like this. Pull off the highway. Fast food. Stop for all of a minute. Eat. Keep driving over the speed limit with one hand.
At some point during the night, we arrived at the House. Yes, the capital letter is required. It's the sort of thing that insists on its status as a proper noun. Yes, it was the same night. Or possibly the morning after. My sense of time was a little... (and I apologize) wibbley-wobbley.
The House is... I think vast would be the right word. In the same way that something like a lake could seem very ordinary when you look at the surface, and seem to be the size of an ocean once you actually stick your head under the surface.
"You live in a madhouse" I'll admit, I don't know if we spoke at all during the drive from Montreal. This was the first thing that came to mind upon actually seeing the House.
"MadHouse" Spencer corrected me from the passenger seat. Again with the capital letters.
"We didn't drive this far to have you die in your own driveway Spencer." I said "Should I go get someone or..." I look at Spencer. "I don't think I could carry you."
He insists he can make it up to the front door. And so we exit the van, and enter the House. August is in the entrance.
When Opal describes August as "Mr. Mom" she's being relatively accurate. August (and it's sometimes hard to remember that the correct gender for August is male) was all over Spencer like a mother hen.
"Christ you look horrible! Did Writer..."
And then I get noticed. Which is always an uncomortable sensation. "Nemo?"
Awkward introductions are always the best introductions. It tends to be uphill from there.
Of course, I'd never seen August, but the descriptions I had and the way he was paying attention to Spencer sort of suggested identity in and of itself.
(Editors Note: I was sleep-addled and starving. It doesn't mean that my brain wasn't working.)
"Ah. August... right?"
(EN: So I was sleep-addled and starving. Also my hand hurt.)
Of course, I'm not the one trying to keep his insides from becoming outsides. August shouts "DOC!" and then turns to me. "Nice to meet you, when did you last eat or sleep?"
There's a brief sort of back and forth of yelling, and a some point Steele joins in and suggests that everyone shout at each other in the same room. Now, I'll admit, I wasn't sure which day it was at this point, and I sort of stopped feeling hungry after a bit.
(EN: I'm probably characterizing my own thoughts as much more coherent than they actually were. Fair warning)
"What day is it?"
Steele showed up, look about ready to strangle someone and started cracking-wise when he discovered the House's new guests.
(EN: Admittedly, humour was sort of lost on me at this point. You'll see in a bit)
He spouted off something about Sydney, and offered a hand and there might have been a comment about swimming. None of it really made sense. Yes, his one hand does look like someone decided it would be more functional if you put it through a blender.
August asks Steele to move Doc downstairs, and tells me it's Sunday and that things will happen after the stuff with Spencer is sorted.
The next few minutes are sort of a blur, so I hope no one minds if I paraphrase grossly.
August kept mothering everyone and generally being... let's go with organized. Sane doesn't quite seem like the right word.
Steele was sent off to fetch Doc and Spencer and I sort of stood around like lackwits.
"It's the twenty-fifth" August says and directs me to the kitchen. The kitchen and the living room are in an odd sort of place. In that they're not on the first floor.
It feels strange to be in a house where there are other people. Which might be why I reacted with such surprise when I found August had followed me up to the kitchen.
"There's pasta, some roast beef but you'll need to reheat that. Todd probably has some pizza tucked away in there too."
I jumped a little. Okay, I jumped quite a bit. But again, it was only August.
(EN: It's going to take a while to get used to other people again)
There was pizza in the fridge, stale, fridge marinated. In short, at the perfect point within the life-cycle of a pizza to be reheated in a microwave. Still tastes okay cold, but it could use some heat.
"Is there a microwave" the last part of the sentence is cut off by the sounds of Spencer screaming from the foyer. The sounds alone are enough to make you cringe.
August sort of hesitated in answering "I'd really rather you use the oven." Huh... what's wrong with the microwave? (EN: The microwave is a horrible, horrible thing.)
I keep eating the pizza anyways.
"Coffee?" August has apparently made some. "I don't drink coffee"
(EN: It's much too bitter, no matter how much sugar you put in it. I prefer tea.)
August eventually indicates the microwave, but by this point, my brain has sort of assembled an idea that maybe the microwave does horrible things to food? At this point, I jump again.
"What's going on, and who's that guy"
Dear reader, Sam is creepy. This is all.
My mind flashes back to the lobby of an office building in Toronto, my hands try to catch the pizza as it flies up into the air and my frayed nerves decide that trying to launch my skeleton about a foot into the air vertically without accompanying viscera is a good idea.
It takes a minute to calm down before I can answer
"Me? Ah... No one." (EN: Strictly speaking? Entirely true.)
I seem to have frightened Sam by flipping out. She apologies for scaring me.
(EN: Remember what I said about a sense of humour? This)
"Scare? Ha!" The laugh continues for a while. I don't think I've actually laughed much for a while. But this sounds... a little sick and twisted to be honest. By the time I need to catch my breath, August has introduced us and inquired as to where someone named "Matilda" is.
(EN: Matilda isn't a someone. Matilda is a creepy doll. Sam drags it around everywhere)
Steele joins us in the kitchen not long afterwards. At this point, I'm obsessively eating the pizza to keep myself from laughing. I'm not going to describe what he tried to make, only that it was an abomination against both ethyl alcohol and the world at large.
The laughter briefly seems to infect August.
"Are you alright?"
Apparently August doesn't know.
A short laugh. "I think so."
Someone yells from downstairs "ANYONE ELSE NEED MY ASSISTANCE"
"Are you sure, should we get you set up somewhere?"
"Actually, I think, if it'd be okay, I'd like to see Doc"
Now that I've dealt with food, I'm a little worried about my hand.
August relays this via the most advanced means (shouting some more) to the foyer, and we are informed by similar means that we'll have to go to the Doctor, since a housecall seems out of the question.
"Sam would you mind helping me get this coat off, I'm a little shorthanded." I hadn't bothered putting my hand in the one sleeve of the coat. More manic laughter here.
(EN: My own recollection of this is actually a tad worrying. Severely unhinged doesn't begin to cover it.)
The laughing has alarmed Sam a little. Well probably more than a little. I'm something of a raving lunatic. The coat removed, I thank Sam and we go down stairs.
I don't remember much of the preamble here. I might have made another hand pun. And laughed a bit more.
(EN: I did, and I did apparently. Disturbed doesn't begin to cover it)
Doc removes my own hackjob handiwork and examines the damage. There may have been anaesthetic involved at some point. I'm not sure. Just the thumb and finger injured. Well, fractured. Splints for those two and ice for the hand.
There's a little more bantering, Doc asks if I want anything for the pain. A look at Steele says that drugs are not the way to go. Some ice and a few hours of sleep and I should be ready to get back on the road.
(EN: I'm leaving the next bit out.)
I fetch some things from the van, and get my self settled in a room upstairs. And I got some sleep.