I slept like someone had slipped me a "mickey." Not sure I knew what a "mickey" was exactly, just knew it was a drug of some sort due to the fact I had slept unusually sound. In fact if there had been a fire I may have entered the pearly gates of heaven along with Duke as I recall feeling nearly unconscious. Well I would have hoped to join the heavenly forces rather then the unheavenly for sure. All I know is it took me a bit of stretching and moving to wake my entire being that morning. Body, mind, and spirit felt quite odd. Duke stared at me like I was someone he didn't know and I felt like someone he didn't know . I was being silly I thought. Just get up and get Duke outside. And so I did but nothing changed. I had never been a drinker of much alcohol but I felt like that was what a serious hangover would have been like. I also considered I might be coming down with some sort of awful illness like tuberculosis or polio. That is how my mind worked most of the time. Over the top.
After a so-called run with Duke I headed over to the restaurant to meet with the manager, Pam, per her offer of a free breakfast. At that time I hadn't figured out how to get extra food for Duke yet but I eventually did. Pam was late so I entertained myself to a strong cup of joe in hopes it would help the whatever it was I was feeling.
Pam showed up about twenty minutes late. I was about to leave because in my neck of the woods that was considered rude. In Texas it was treated as "tacky." As I was exiting the front door she was entering with all sort of apology's. I guess something about her car. I being a person who allows most anyone to step on me to the place of lying down for it! Figure of speech of course. We grabbed a booth and slid onto the red leather studded seats. At that time I was not only feeling hungover but now jittery. Pam noticed and inquired. I recall having no good answer for her except I might be hungry, and so we ordered. Steak and eggs, Texas fried potatoes, English muffin with strawberry jam from the little metal holders on the table stacked six high on each of four sides. When our order arrived and was deposited before me in all its glory I thought I would erp and I don't mean Wyatt! Pam told me I had turned a funny shade of green. I apologized of course and told her I must be coming down with the flu. She boxed up my breakfast and walked me back to my room. I tried to get her to turn back so she wouldn't see Duke but it was too late. Duke started barking when he heard my voice outside the door.
I looked at Pam and she looked at the door and back at me. I said, "Well I suppose your going to turn me in now."
"Of course I am not going to turn you in!" Pam said. A lot of people sneak their dogs in. I just ignore it. I don't own the place, no skin off my back. "
I thought her language and manners rather uncouth at the time, but I didn't feel well so I blew it off as a momentary bad judgment call on her part. I just wanted to lay down and sleep. Then I realized Duke would have nothing to do but lay there for hours. Pam offered to take Duke for the day. I agreed. She walked toward him, reached out for his collar with the leash in her hand and he snapped at her as he growled in certain hesitation. She leaped backward in fear almost falling into the air conditioner.
I had never seen Duke express himself in this manner to anyone before. I scolded him but did not make him go with Pam. She left saying she would check on me later in the day. I thanked her and fell quickly off to sleep with Duke next to me.
When I woke six hours later I was famished. I ate every last bite of that cold boxed up breakfast. Of course I shared it with Duke and darn near had to fight him for the last bite. I was full as an West Texas tick which left no run for Duke that afternoon. We did go for a nice long walk along the Boulevard. So many new stores popping up that I had never heard of back home. We passed Kress, and Montgomery Ward, which of course I was familiar with. I recall thinking I had never seen so many signs, motels, restaurants, and theatres anywhere in my life. Nor had Duke I was sure from the panting and excitement he exhibited. I figured that was enough excitement for him for one day so we headed back to the motel unclear of what the next day would bring. How long should I stay in Amarillo trying to help an old man who didn't want any help.
Pam stopped by our motel room late afternoon as she said she would. She invited me to an outdoor movie theatre that evening so Duke wouldn't have to stay at the motel alone. I wanted to go but I was concerned about how Duke might react towards her considering the incident that morning. I decided we should take a little ride around the block to make sure there would be peace in the beautiful Pink Cadi.
Looking back I wonder, as usual, why I didn't think it odd the restaurant manager made good friends so quickly with a stranger traveling through town. And why I didn't notice Duke's immediate dislike for her. Once again I would find myself with my eyes in my ass, knowing the answer after all had passed. Maybe I should invest in side mirrors that attached to my pink baseball hat instead. I was like a draft horse with blinders on. My brains peripheral vision in all areas was on silent. Thoughts of Tom Baird and his family were overriding any and all world, local, and personal events. I was of a one track mind as they say.