“Those are new,” she said, as I tried to find a spot well-lit enough to see the sample properly. “Someone local makes these.” They were fairly simple mouldings, about 2 ½ inch, with a wide, slightly rounded surface, and then a thin beading on the outside edge. The interesting part was that they all looked hand painted, swirls of color that seemed almost to move, and finished with a glaze that made them appear aged, dry and powdery, like old books in the attic.
At this point I realize that the back part of the room contains a large bed, dressers, and a television. The proprietor is lying in bed. He recognizes me and waves, puts on a cheerful face, but is in fact sick, and in pain. He's watching TV with the sound off.
The woman unrolled the poster. It was huge. 40 x 60, maybe, and I despaired at the cost of framing it. It was a photograph of some part of an old airplane, a supporting strut between wings, perhaps, with a man clinging to the strut. At the bottom of the poster it said
The image on the poster changed. A caption flashed across the bottom.
It was the early days of air travel.
The image changed again. Now the man clinging to the support was slumped, his head back, clothes whipping in the wind.
One of the passengers collapsed.
In the bowels of the plane, pulling himself up from the landing gear, one of the other passengers rushes to the rescue. And now I'm not sure whether DVID is the passenger who collapsed or the passenger rushing to his rescue. Or perhaps it's neither. Perhaps it's the airplane. He has difficulty – passengers fill the small stairwell, and have to shuffle out onto the wings of the moving plane to make space for him to pass. I carefully step onto the wing and grab a strut for support. The man who had been sitting next to me on the stairs does the same, but slips. A boy, maybe 12 or 13 years old, and I grab him, each holding one arm, and we keep him from falling to his death.
“Goddamn Boshniaks!” he yells.
The hero pushes past and up the stairs and we struggle to get back inside the plane.
And this is where Linda walks in and says, “Are you ever getting up?”