The Tour: the apartment (2)

by cheri block

The tour began when Alonzo dropped his large blue muzzle, allowed his thin elastic blue lids to move down over and shield his yellow eyes, tucked his head beneath his massive chest, and then in a rumble reminiscent of West Side Story, he declared, “Let the tour begin!!”

Mother and I had no choice but to follow.

The three of us squeezed into an elevator. I found myself tucked conveniently under his left wing, a gossamer and silky gold blanket of vertical energy; Mother, on the other claw, sat atop his triangular withers like a Queen (albeit smashed against the roof of the lift). When the bell dinged arrival at the third floor, we emptied out of the elevator in a spatially correct order: Mother hopped off his back, he backed out of the rectangular airspace, and I flopped onto the indestructible carpet in an unladylike manner.

Alonzo wore a chain of keys around his neck.

We followed him down the hall. Watching a dragon walk from the rear is a sight worthy of note: his tale, laden with chunks of triangular tendons, wagged heavily from side to side in a bass beat, mesmerizing (if you will) and somewhat pizzicato, in its slamming from wall to wall.  This rhythmic  rudder–swaying to the beat like a lazy metronome, added to the timber of our moment.  Bahh-dump, Bahh-dump.

Mother and I obediently stopped at room 309.

The key was big; the room was small.

Could we fit a lifetime of stuff within its borders?

Alonzo was absolutely, positively, SURE we could.

“You’d be surprised at how this bathroom evolves into a small space of grandeur,” he encouraged.

“But where do you put your electric toothbrush?” I asked. Alonzo’s lips curled back in an enormous grin, revealing his own set of 188 choppers, sparkly white and brushed.

“It’ll fit, no problem, “ Alonzo responded, leaving a smoke shadow on the mirror, a mirror that would call up the deepest Jungian shadows.

Suddenly, the walkie-talkie that Alonzo wore next to his friendship ring sounded.

Scratch-scratch… “Alonzo? This is King Beowulf, your hero, protector, and as you are well aware, your boss.  Are you on the premises?”

“Oh, Hello King Boss, I am. Just showing some potential new hoarders the digs. They seem to like the space (albeit small) and I am sure they will sign on.”

[This work is registered at the U.S. Copyright Office 2010]

About Cheri

Writer, photograph, artist, mother, grandmother and wife.
This entry was posted in My fiction, The Dragon in the Lobby: a fairytale about Assisted Living and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Tour: the apartment (2)

  1. One of the things that makes these pieces so wonderful is the way you capture the wash of emotions that are going on in a whimsical, almost unreal, way. This one in particular seems layered with complexity–most notably the challenge of dealing with the watershed parent/child role reversal. You are doing for your mom what she did for you on the first day of school and your first day in the dorm at college. But it’s so not right and you perfectly portray the conflicting feelings through the jarring but logical scenes. Great stuff!

  2. Cheri says:

    You are correct in your assessment that “it’s so not right.” I am glad that all of my conflicting feelings are coming through here. Thank you, Thomas.

  3. You are going through harrowing experiences and it is no easier on your mother. Our own daughters are overprotective of us and we must fight to keep some autonomy. It is all so well meaning that it is a shame not to appreciate it fully.
    Role reversal is painfull…but inescapable, just keep it under control.
    Affectionately, from a former dragon who ran out of flint.

  4. Cheri says:

    You haven’t run out of flint! No way.
    Sage advice, Paul. Thank you for so much.

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