As they drove on I-240 towards Asheville on the way to Mac’s apartment for a romantic weekend away, Lorraine found that she had made her legs bleed from the scratching she had been doing. Mac’s car was crawling with insects and Lorraine even spotted some mouse droppings. She wondered how a person could keep the outside of his car so shiny-clean while the inside was like a dumpster. She grabbed a cloth from the backseat to staunch the blood and keep it from staining her pale blue Eileen Fisher sandals. As she was about to dab her legs with the cloth, she noticed it was stained with something like dried dog-doo, and she threw it back into the backseat. She thought she might throw up, but knew that that would not be lady-like, so she swallowed hard and let her mind drift towards the weekend ahead.
Pretty soon the trip took them across Asheville and up Leicester Highway. “How much farther do we have to go?” Lorraine questioned, hoping it would be soon.
“Not much,” Mac replied. “I live in a beautiful spot out in the country. The views are spectacular.”
Lorraine looked forward to the views and to breathing fresh air that did not smell like rotting fruit and dog-doo. After a while they drove off the main road and onto a winding, rutted dirt road. Lorraine lowered the window in case she had to be sick, but soon enough they rounded a bend and saw a charming, albeit shabby, farm house. It had some hidden potential, but needed some sprucing up and a coat of paint.
“Sweet!” she cried. “Is this where you live?” She already saw herself adding pots of flowers to the porch and lacy curtains to the windows. She could make this place adorable.
‘This is the main house. An old girlfriend of mine lives here. She lets me lease an apartment in an outbuilding around back. We are still really good friends.”
Lorraine didn’t like the idea of such close contact with his ex, but she thought the land was lovely and the views were indeed beautiful. They drove around behind the house and up popped the building that Mac occupied. “Yikes,” she thought.
The small cabin was down a steep hill and looked as if it were about to slide off into the ravine behind it. It might have been painted green at some point, but just hints were left on the raw wood. The main color she saw was the bilious blue of an enormous tarp the covered the roof and obscured much of the exterior. She didn’t know what to say. “Um, did a tree hit the place recently and punch a hole in the roof?”
“No, no!” he exclaimed chuckling. “The entire roof leaks so I just leave it on there until I scrape up enough money to put on a new roof. It works pretty well, but when it rains extra hard, we still get some water inside. I just leave pots around to catch the bulk of it.”
They picked their way down a treacherous dirt path towards the front door. The door was old wood held up by metal hinges that were rather cute. Lorraine admired a rusty metal bell suspended from the eaves of the cabin. “Oh, that.” explained Mac. “A gift from an ex.” Another ex?
He pushed open the door and they were met with the overwhelming stink of mildew. Lorraine felt faint and wondered if she could flee before the rest of the tour continued. However, Mac’s words to her previously resonated in her head: “You are such a snob!”
She didn’t want to be a snob! “let’s go in!” she trilled, readying herself for the rest of it.