Lorraine and Mac were a new couple and still trying to figure each other out. Lorraine had had some bad experiences with men, most recently the departure of her husband Frederick after he found out about her affair with El Chapo when she had taken off to Mexico. Frederick was jealous, that’s all it was. Anyway, Lorraine was disappointed in his love-making skills after her steamy nights on the hacienda. She probably shouldn’t have mentioned Chappie as often as she had, though. So adios, Frederick. And Mac had found himself too often disappointed by women who didn’t treat him as well as he expected to be treated, and didn’t “respect” him as much as he deserved. And so, in their eighties, the two lovebirds were walking on eggshells trying to make their young romance work.
They had set out to have a romantic weekend in-town staycation and had driven to Leicester to Mac’s place. Lorraine had not been there before and was eager to see Mac’s home. He seemed so interesting, and she had imagined what his place would look like, but when she saw it, she was shocked. Not as she had imagined! It was run-down, filthy, and infested with critters. She wished she could run away, but the relationship was new and still fragile, and she didn’t want to seem to be the kind of snobbish city girl Mac didn’t like. So she stayed.
After Mac gave her the tour of his Love Shack, Lorraine unpacked her overnight bag and set it high on top of a tallboy stacked with old Audubon Society magazines to keep spiders and mice out of it, and slipped into the bathroom to change into her silk nightgown. She couldn’t find a surface on which to place her make-up and toiletries and had to place them on back of the toilet (after wiping it down with a wash cloth). The mirror was tiny and the light was dim and the sink was small and rust-stained, so she gave up on her usual skin care regimen and used some toilet paper to wipe her face. The shower was a tight squeeze and dark enough to disguise the scum on the floor.
She climbed into the bed worrying about who had slept in these sour sheets last, and tried to calm herself with kind thoughts, but even after Mac joined her in the bed and fell fast asleep almost immediately, she couldn’t relax. She felt itchy and kept imagining that there were snakes and mice at her feet and spiders crawling across her face. Mac’s snoring was particularly irritating, but somehow she managed to fall asleep in the wee hours.
When she woke up, she found that Mac was gone. Had he left her? She jumped out of bed and felt the gritty floor under her bare feet. She didn’t see him outside and couldn’t see where he had parked the car the previous afternoon as the cabin was down in a ravine. She found her peignoir in her bag and put it on, tiptoeing into the kitchen in bare feet. Coffee. She needed coffee. But once inside the kitchen she couldn’t find either coffee or a coffee maker. What to do? She was stuck here.
As the caffeine withdrawal headache started moving in, she changed into her messiest clothes and set to work. She might as well try to turn this mess into someplace habitable. She grabbed a grody wash cloth from the bathroom, found a bucket and a bottle of Mr. Clean (sprinkled with mouse droppings) and started inclining the kitchen in hopes she might find some coffee hidden somewhere.