Thursday, July 9, 2009

Of Mice and Men the Sequel

From the moment Brian left the apartment Fredi began to mourn him. She sat by the door until Shelley persuaded her away and then when Shelley's attention towards her began to lag, she jumped from the couch and sat by the door again.

When she finally realized he wasn't coming back soon, she stuck to Shelley like glue. Instead of lying at the end of the couch, diplomatically placed equidistant between Brian & Shelley, she now lay tucked into Shelley's side tight as she could get. Always vigilant to follow whenever anyone went to the kitchen, her vigilance now kicked into overdrive and she followed Shelley everywhere, keeping her company whether watching TV, on the computer or in the bath room.

Brian's plane left Cuenca at 7:15 and he arrived in Quito at 8:00. He checked into the where we'd stayed previously* and immediately went across the street to a cabina place and phoned Shelley to let her know he was safe.

"I made them sign in blood that they'd wake me up at 3 a.m." he told Shelley. "And I've got a cab coming at 4".

Shelley told him about the dog pining at the door and then instructed him to get inside, "You shouldn't be wandering around Quito after 9 o'clock" she admonished him.

"I'm 2 feet taller than everyone here!" he told her.

* The Hotel Othello is not fancy but it's clean and reasonably priced and in a wonderful walking about neighbourhood.

1:47 in the morning, Shelley gets out of bed and goes to the computer to Twitter. Her daughter had text messaged her at around 9 p.m. but she hadn't seen the message until midnight. Brian usually takes charge of the phone and she'd forgotten to bring it into the bedroom. Brian's brother's condition was quickly deteriorating; could Brian come sooner?

Shelley text messaged her daughter and then they talked on Google Video.

"Brian's in Quito. I can't get hold of him. You'll see him before I hear from him."

The next morning around 10:30 Brian phoned Shelley. His flight from Quito was cancelled. Apparently a bird had flown into the nose of the plane he was supposed to take and they had to do inspections etc to ensure the plane's safety. They offered to put Brian up in a hotel and then fly him out the next day but he opted for another schedule that would get him there several hours sooner.

He's flying out of Quito to Bogota Columbia where he'll stay for several hours and then go on to Houston Texas. From Houston he'll fly to Vancouver arriving around noon 43 hours after he left the apartment in Cuenca. Understanding the urgency to see his brother, he'll go directly from the airport in Vancouver to the ferry terminal and take the ferry to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. An email was sent out to all the people he'd arranged to meet in Vancouver to let them know what was happening.

PS:~ The Hotel did not wake him up at 3 AM as they had promised they would. Brian had basically stayed awake so he was, however, on time to the airport to find out the flight had been cancelled.

That day Fredi & Shelley donned their rain coats and set out for their usual daily walk. It'd been chilly in the apartment and they'd dressed warm for their walk but were thwarted before they'd gone more than a few blocks. The rain, instead of dotting the landscape, became biblical. Fredi sat down on her haunches and looked back at the apartment.

"OK Fredi" Shelley told her. "You're right. This is stupid."

They semi-ran back to the apartment, got out of their wet coats, put on a couple of sweaters and resigned themselves to spending a somewhat chilly day at home. (No heating systems in homes here. Cool weather means sweaters, not turn up the heat.)

Brian sent an abbreviated email from Bogota while he was waiting for his next flight. He commented that Bogota was bizarre and that the main part of town was crawling with police and the army and felt like an armed camp...and then his message cut off suddenly. Shelley wasn't p-a-r-t-i-c-u-l-a-r-l-y worried figuring his flight was called.

"Armed camp...Bogota...Columbia..." she mused.

Fredi being a dog with a somewhat limited capability of foresight continued to inspect every inch of the apartment upon returning from every walk or outing, presumably just checking that Brian hadn't magically appeared while she was away.

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