We spent the dinner hour that night in one of the nearby lobster pounds, restaurants presumably family-owned and offering its customers with a selection of the sea’s considerable bounty. My companion continued his monologue as I turned my attention instead to the walls where I found a bounty of conservatism to match that of the sea. In the main room, each wall stood bedecked with photographs and communications from prominent national and local rightwing politicians and unspecific niceties common to just such communications. So, it was that Ronald Reagan and Bush, father and son, saw me out.
That night at the hotel, I attempted to conjure from words and bits of expressions a tree that we had come upon the day before, a birch hollowed out by some force or other, a process which had left behind only a bark shell about the bole now missing, the whole still upright however improbably. Though I wrestled with a phantom task, I all the same took in my companion’s hotel room musings, which proved rather more akin that night to lamentations. As though at the edge of hearing, a story made its way through to me, recounting how his wife had, at a previous job, taken to watching his arrival from a third floor window and only then made herself busy, such that, in the end, he was made to wait up to half an hour and all this for a reason beyond his comprehension. While I might charitably ascribe it to a will to challenge the power structures in place, it seemed rather more likely an act born of pettiness.
Over the course of several days, I had likewise had the opportunity to observe my companion at length and remark upon several of his habits, such as that of lingering in hotels until checkout, awaiting from the end of his bed or a chair to the side the last possible minute and then holding out still some moments longer. The quality of the furnishings or amenities proved to be of little importance in the matter in that I found him drawing things out both in well-established commercial chains and backwoods shelters. Regardless of surrounding, he invented routines and multiplied tasks until such a time as he wandered out at last, pockets bulging with borrowed fruit.
The next day saw our return to Acadia. Closer study of the map the night before had led me to liken Acadia and its cleft shape to a pair of lungs, following which we quickly fell into the habit of mapping our location onto analogous anatomical designations. I amused myself greatly by tracking our movements from smaller left lung to the larger right, from the windpipe through all of the miniscule passages therein.