4. How I Spent My Summer Vacation: 4
After four consecutive hours of pinball yesterday my eyes feel a bit funny. My stomach also feels a bit funny, but that could be from the entire bag of marshmallows I accidentally ate while sitting on the sofa watching Elrohir and Aragorn play Magic cards.
They are no longer speaking to each other again, since Elrohir killed Aragorn's Lord of Tresserhorn with a Lured Thicket Basilisk and went on to win the game the next turn with his Pygmy Allosaur. Elrohir said it was Aragorn's own stupid fault for choosing to play with the forces of evil, but Aragorn responded with a typical remark of "Elves suck!" I think he's still upset over the gooey ears fiasco. It took him and Arwen a few hours and almost an entire bottle of rubbing alcohol to get that fixed.
I had decided to stay home tonight and eat Cheetos and watch Law & Order reruns with grandma, but when I asked Aragorn if he wanted to join us he said no, he wanted to go try to climb the radio tower. I told him that would be very dangerous, not to mention illegal. Then he said that I was one of the most boring people he knew!
Shocked, I asked grandma if she thought I was boring, and she said no, I was a very responsible, practical, and mature adult. I was happy with this answer until she added, "Just like your grandfather."
So it is true! Grandpa is easily the most boring person I know, and I am just like him! I must take drastic action to change this. I think I will meet Rúmil at the club tonight after all. My life needs some fun and/or excitement. But I don't know what to wear. From the way Rúmil described it, this seems like the place for tight black shirts and classy trousers. And I don't have any tight black shirts with me. Maybe I'll ask Arwen if she does.
The only black shirt Arwen had was sleeveless and vee-necked with little rhinestones by the shoulders. I asked grandma what she had, and her only black shirts were far worse: all lacy and see-through. Given the choice, I went with Arwen's rhinestones.
I didn't get to the club until half twelve, but according to Rúmil, whom I met almost immediately at the door, that's when all the action starts anyhow. And action it was. The smoky laser-lit dancefloor was packed with people all dancing to house remixes of pop songs and house remixes of Second Age classics and house remixes of pretty much everything that can be remixed in a house-like way. Ardlor of course was in the thick of it, gyrating indecently on a raised metal platform while waving his shirt over his head. Rúmil didn't look the least bit embarrassed. Perhaps he was pretending he had no idea who Ardlor was.
I danced with Rúmil for a while, all the time feeling self-conscious in my rhinestone shirt. I was wondering if he wasn't worried about us dancing together and being mistaken for a gay couple, but as I looked around at the other dancers I realised that there were no women in the club. Well, none that weren't dancing with each other, in any case. So of course we were being mistaken for a gay couple! Rúmil and Ardlor had conspired to bring me to a gay club! And I can't handle going to gay clubs; someone might see me! Nobody suspects a thing about my unorthodox preferences, and it would come as a terrible shock to the entire family to find out now.
I mean, not that I really have those sorts of preferences or anything. It was just one time, with Erestor, and that's it. Absolutely nothing further. Well, except for what happened later after the club. But that doesn't count, because I was only doing it to prove I'm not boring.
Anyway, I felt a bit dizzy and had to go sit at the bar for a while. Which was probably not the best idea, since a tall blond fellow in purple eyeliner and a sparkley gold halter top kept trying to buy me a Rev. Eventually Rúmil came to ask me why I wasn't dancing, and I weakly managed to say that I felt a bit ill and should probably go home. Rúmil nodded sympathetically, and he went to fetch Ardlor from his platform antics in order to see me out safely to grandpa's car, parked across the way in front of a Nandorin restaurant. We were just about to leave when I rounded the corner to the exit and ran smack into Elrohir.
Elrohir (who was wearing one of grandma's lacy see-through shirts) said, "I thought you were watching Law & Order tonight!" I said, "You said you were going to Orophin's to play Dungeons and Dragons again!" Ardlor said, "Oh wow, identical twins, this is just too perfect!" Elrohir smiled coyly at him. I scowled at the floor, disgusted, or perhaps shocked or embarrassed. It was hard to tell which.
I announced that I was leaving, while at the same time trying to make sure Elrohir understood that it was in no way my idea to come to a gay club, and that indeed I didn't even know it was a gay club when I agreed to come. But Elrohir wasn't paying attention, and just whined that he needed me to give him a lift home, since he'd taken the bus and was afraid to take the bus back so late at night (the bus being full of raging loonies and other undesirables sitting on vandalised vinyl seats beneath glowing toothpaste ads). Rúmil said that he too was ready to leave, and Ardlor suggested we should all go back to their place for flavoured instant coffee and sugar-free health biscuits. I was clever enough to see what he was up to, but Elrohir, being none too bright, was caught in his nefarious plan.
I politely declined for the both of us and pulled Elrohir by his (that is, grandma's) shirt all the way out to the car. Elrohir pouted, then sulked, then whined, complained, and eventually harassed until I was forced to stop the car. I just can't drive properly when he's snapping my arm with the elastic from the PineFresh tree. I slowly explained to Elrohir what it was that Ardlor had in mind, and he said, "Well, obviously!". Then I said that I would have no part in it, having no interest whatsoever in those sorts of shameful degenerate activities, and he told me I was the most boring person he knew.
Twice in one day!!!
I don't even want to talk about what happened next, except to say that it was surely the worst thing that anyone has at all done at any point in history, ever. True, Fëanor killed a bunch of people at Alqualondë and got his group of Noldor collectively exiled from Valinor, but at least he didn't have anything going on the side with Fingolfin and some strange actor they met at a gay disco. Not that we know of, anyhow. Also, I think Rúmil captured the whole shebang on Mini DV to treasure for years to come. He said he was just checking the camera and battery to make sure they were ready to tape Haldir's lacrosse tournament on Saturday, but the more I think about it, the more I'm sure he didn't really need to check for so long, nor so thoroughly.
I am without a doubt going to sit in Mandos for a very very very long time. The fact that Elrohir will surely be there with me may or may not be a comfort; I'm in no state of mind to try and decide right now.
Though maybe Fëanor will be there and I can ask him about Fingolfin.
Another crappy round-robin email from Glorfindel came today. It arrived right in the middle of a potentially excellent pinball game, and my IM interrupted with a popup and made me lose the ball. Stupid sodding Glorfindel.
To: "Aragorn" <firstname.lastname@example.org>,"Arwen" <email@example.com>,"Celeborn" <firstname.lastname@example.org>,"Círdan" <email@example.com>,"Elladan" <firstname.lastname@example.org>,"Elrond" <email@example.com>,"Erestor" <firstname.lastname@example.org>,"Foxilady" <email@example.com>,"Gandalf" <firstname.lastname@example.org>,"Lindir" <email@example.com>,"The Best" <firstname.lastname@example.org>,"Thranduil" <email@example.com>
From: "LL" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Further updates on vacation
Know I promised to be back home by the 23rd, but
that's not going to happen now. Still in Minas
Tirith, still having a blast. Bought some new
shoes yesterday, two-tone brown leather, very chic,
and a purple shirt.
Nearly got run down by a wedding convoy on my way
from the hotel to the internet cafe today.
Adventure abounds here. About fifty people hanging
out the windows of taxis speeding down the main
thoroughfare, and an apple lorry with a band playing
in the back. Singer kept tossing apples at people-
fun stuff. If I ever get married, I want an apple
lorry driving about with a band in the back.
On that note, I had Ara wearing nice adult clothes
and no plastic jewellery the other day, so hope there.
And will someone please tell Gildor to stop sending
crummy forwards and chain letters? Not had the
chance to write him a proper reprimand lately- seems
he's taking my silence as a go-ahead for all his crap.
Will keep you all updated on my EDA and such, but
don't expect any time soon. Might stay a few days
extra in Rohan on the drive through. Hear they have
cheap drinks and lots of them...
I am in shock. He is actually thinking of getting married to Aralindë?! And he calls this hope?! As for adult clothes, I can't imagine what that means. I sincerely hope it doesn't mean "adult" clothes... Not that Aralindë would know any better. She wouldn't recognise good fashion sense even if it came in the post duct-taped to the back of an L.L. Bean catalogue.
I spent the rest of the day in bed being antisocial, eating ice cream and watching wrestling on channel 38. I was sort of hoping Elrohir would come and join me so I could assure him that what happened the other night was purely accidental, but he was too busy bothering grandma and generally being in the way of things. Aragorn tried to join me, but he kept scratching himself in unmentionable places and farting on the duvet, so I had to throw him out.
Grandma is no longer speaking to Elrohir. Last night he apparently lost all sense completely and asked her if she wouldn't mind cutting off her hair so that he could make a wig for his project of becoming a Vanya. I didn't witness the scene, but according to Arwen grandma went a bit psycho and started creeching that she'd had her hair just as it is since her childhood in Tirion and no way was she ever going to cut it for anyone. Elrohir made things considerably worse by saying that maybe after 7185 years it was time for a change and that she'd probably look good with a brush cut, and the hair would of course always grow back, wouldn't it? The rage took over and grandma hurled a grapefruit at him. He now has a good-sized bruise on his left cheek. I wish I'd seen all that.
So now that Elrohir has incurred the wrath of both grandparents, we figure it's time to move on. Aragorn's down improving the van again, this time as per my instructions. I gave him a neatly typed list to follow, with the tasks ordered so as to maximise time efficiently. I don't actually expect that he'll follow it, but I do hope he'll at least remember to pick up the old used Kleenexes from the floor.
We are now stopped at a campground in Fangorn National Park. By "we" I mean myself, Elrohir, Aragorn and Gildor. Gildor and his group of travelling yahoos happened to be camping two sites over. I can see their Steam Queen Vacuum van from my place beside the rusty fire box. Gildor has elected to join Elrohir and Aragorn in playing cards, as he has had no company but his fellow vacuum cleaner salespeople for the past month. The fellow salespeople, it seems, stole a paddleboat from the camp warden and are whooping it up heading down the Limlight in search of adventure. I never suspected the secret lives of travelling vacuum cleaner salespeople could be so seamy and crime-ridden.
In any case, at least we managed to secure a campsite with power so that I can not only save the battery on my laptop but also plug in the trouble light and be able to see the keyboard in the dark. That is I could plug in the trouble light if the outlet weren't occupied by an old microwave stolen from grandpa and grandma's basement. Elrohir's microwaving nachos for the card players. He doesn't seem to quite get the concept of camping being rustic.
We're still at the Fangorn camp site. I'm getting a bit worried, since I just realised that uni starts up in nine days and I am by no stretch of the imagination ready to face going back to Rivendell to catch the plane to the Grey Havens. I'm also getting worried about Gildor. He stayed with us in our van last night, since his vacuum people haven't come back yet and they have the keys to his own van. Actually, it was more like he stayed with Elrohir in our van last night. I quickly tired of their inappropriate antics and took my blanket to sleep outside. I found Aragorn in a pile of leaves under the picnic table this morning, so I can only assume he did the same.
I tried to avoid them all day, so I stole Aragorn's camera and wandered around taking pictures of the forest. While doing so, I saw a pale green slug that was about seven inches long. I also saw what I though was an Ent, but it turned out to just be a tree with a giant face carved into it. I took a photo.
We have left Fangorn National Park and are now heading south-west toward the Gap of Rohan. Aragorn very sensibly suggested staying in a motel tonight instead of the van, and I am with him on that 100%. He has been charged with motel-spotting duty. Since I have no email and have lost my pinball skills, I am forced to watch the scenery as we drive. And there is nothing even interesting to watch. Rohan is full of naught but used car lots. The bad suit industry must be thriving here.
LATER: We have stopped at the Kozy Korner motel north of Helm's Deep. The sign out front claims 15% discount for Elves, and there are waterslides and satellite telly, so Gildor is going to investigate while the rest of us wait in the van. There is a plastic grocery bag stuck to his bum. He sat on a wad of Elrohir's gum two hours ago, and squished it into the sofa cushion, then put a bag over the gum on the cushion and sat back down. But the bag stuck to the gum already on his trousers. Of course nobody told him when he got out of the van, and he didn't seem to notice on his own. Oh well.
We are safely situated in the motel room. Or at least I am safely situated. Aragorn has wandered off to find beer, and Elrohir and Gildor simply disappeared about an hour ago while I was in the bathroom. I tried watching television for a while, but nothing good was on. So I checked my email, and found this new message from Legolas:
From: "*Legolas*" <email@example.com>
Hi Elladan! You'll never guess what happened today!
And that was it. I am unsure if he accidentally hit the send key prematurely, or if he's just a moron and expects me to reply with a guess. I also had this email from Elrohir:
From: "The Best" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
im in the lobbiy
Sure enough, when I went down to the lobby (really, more like a corner of the motel office with two vinyl chairs and a particle board table), there were Elrohir and Gildor with dumb grins on their faces, sitting at Gildor's computer. Apparently they think themselves terribly clever to send me an email from within the same building. Idiots.
Feeling curious, and since I was standing right next to him, I asked the motel manager why he offers a 15% Elf discount. He said he just prefers Elves as guests, as they are overall less likely to steal the towels and destroy things randomly. I was about to agree with his logic when out of the corner of my eye I saw Gildor take out his pen-knife as if to carve his name into the particle board table.
Then I asked if the discount worked to attract customers, and he said yes, there'd been a record number of five Elves check in this week alone, those five being myself, Elrohir, Gildor, and "a classy-looking blonde fellow and his foul-mouthed daughter." I narrowed my eyes at the memory of a Winnebago at the far end of the car park last night. Said classy-looking blonde fellow is staying in room 12. I might have to investigate later.
I am starting to panic. University starts up again in mere days, and I am stuck at a crappy motel in Rohan with three yahoos who haven't the slightest concern for schedules. I emailed Círdan for help on the situation, but have so far received no reply.
To try to get my mind off the school troubles, I went to the pool with Elrohir (Gildor stayed in the room and moped, having yesterday cracked a rib after slipping while running on the pool tiles in direct defiance of the lifeguard's safety suggestions). Really, all I wanted to do was sit in the hot tub, but Elrohir insisted on playing waterslide tag (also in direct defiance of the lifeguard's safety suggestions). We were kicked out of the pool area within fifteen minutes. Elrohir looked strangely calm as the lifeguard told us to leave. Usually he fusses over stuff like this, so I was a bit curious as to why he was taking it so well. He smugly told me he'd peed while going down the waterslide that last time.
We tried to get back to the room without going outside, since we were wearing naught but soggy swim shorts and small towels, but must've taken a wrong turn somewhere because we ended up in an uncarpeted concrete corridor that didn't look as if it were intended to be used by motel guests. We tried to go back the way we came, but found the door had locked behind us. My choice would have been to bang on the door until somebody opened it, but Elrohir wanted to continue down the corridor in case it led us to fun and adventure. I tried to point out that we were in no way dressed for adventure (fun, maybe, if said fun were of the swimming variety), but he didn't care. So we ended up going along the corridor, passing three locked doors before we came to one that opened.
Then we stepped right into the middle of the Rohan National Dental Association annual director's meeting. Their banner was hanging above the projector screen at the far end of the room. The projector screen was being used by a large balding man giving a PowerPoint presentation. He stopped dead when he saw us, and the rest of the room turned to look too. Women stared in shock. Men muttered unkind things about Elves. Elrohir waved and cheerfully said, "Hi!" Mortified, I covered my face with my towel and prayed nobody would recognise me. Then I remembered that I look exactly like Elrohir, so my actions were useless.
When we finally got back to the room, after wandering through the restaurant and then having to go outside anyhow, Gildor was lying on one of the beds in his underpants and watching extreme sports on satellite. Aragorn was nowhere around. I can only presume he was disturbed by Gildor's tighty-whities and disappeared to check out the VLTs in the motel pub. I would understand that completely, as I too am disturbed by said underpants. Especially now that Elrohir keeps playing with the elastic waistband.
Nobody never plays with my elastic waistband.
Obviously, I am going to have to go somewhere to sulk. I wonder if it is Glorfindel in room 12?
Elrohir, Aralindë and I have been playing Cheat for the past hour and a half. I keep winning, possibly because Elrohir and Aralindë are paying more attention to trying to tickle each other than to the actual game. I predict that tomorrow, out of jealousy, Glorfindel is going to give Elrohir a swift kick in the arse. Not today, though, as it is a Vanyarin religious holiday.
According to his religion, today is the day of somethingorother to do with judgement, and Glorfindel is not allowed to drink alcohol, have sex (and that's pretty much his entire existence right there), wear colourful clothing, plait his hair, eat cooked food, speak loudly, move quickly, perform acts of unkindness toward others, sing, dance, or have fun in any way whatsoever. Pretty much all he can do is sit outside on a mat and look westward while thinking about the Valar and waiting for the day to be over.
Gildor, of course, is taking full advantage of the situation. He's outside with Glorfindel, who is indeed sitting on a mat facing westward and wearing all white clothes. Or at least clothes that are supposed to be white- they're a bit greyish-brown now, since Gildor keeps tossing handfuls of dirt at him. If I hadn't gone out there and witnessed it myself, I'd in no way believe the situation to be possible. But Glorfindel has been putting up with Gildor's idiocy, calmly and quietly saying things like, "It would please me greatly it if you would refrain from dumping lemonade over my head," and "I do not appreciate your attempts to put raisins up my nose. Please stop."
Through the window, I can now see Gildor making an admirable effort at trying to pull the mat out from under Glorfindel. Glorfindel is responding by passively eating bean sprouts from a bowl. Gildor just upset the sprout bowl. Glorfindel is picking them out of the grass. Gildor is stepping on Glorfindel's hand. Glorfindel is using his other hand to pick up the sprouts.
It must really suck to be religious.
Gildor made a point of waking up at 6-30 this morning to get in a good day's worth of tormenting Glorfindel. He was out of our room by 7 sharp, and back ten minutes later, staggering a bit and holding his nose to keep too much blood from escaping. Apparently it slipped his mind that one-day religious holidays last, shockingly, only one day.
I asked Glorfindel if he was overly bothered by Gildor yesterday, and he said not really; the point of his Vanyarin holiday is to have one's devotion tested. The deal is that Manwë judges your life over the past year, and if you've acted contrary to the Valar's decree, you will be put to trial on this one day. Glorfindel figures that Gildor was sent by Manwë to try his faith; if he would have given in and punched Gildor when it was deserved, he would have failed the trial and forfeited Manwë's blessing until the next year when he could be tried again for all cumulative sins.
It all sounded very complicated and boring to me. Then Glorfindel admitted that he'd never before been tested so rigorously. Once back in the second age he was bombarded by squirrels throwing chestnuts, and once around the time mum left he was bitten by a marmot that refused to let go until dad sprayed it with the hose, but that's it. He attributes the torment of Gildor to his unorthodox relationship with Aralindë.
I asked him if she was worth having to endure Gildor dropping click beetles down his shirt, and he said, "Yes." Somehow, I can't see it. I sure wouldn't endure Gildor and beetles for a whole day just to be with Aralindë. I might endure static electricity for her, but that's about it. And not very much static electricity either. Only the sort that makes my trousers stick to my legs for a bit, but then goes away once I shake it out. I can't really see her being worth much more aggravation than that.
I realised this morning that none of us has actually seen Aragorn since the 28th. Gildor thought he saw him yesterday wandering aimlessly about the car park, but it turned out he'd only seen a large shaggy brown dog wearing a bandana. Curious, I went to have a walk around and see if he hadn't been accidentally killed in a brawl over the VLTs and had his body dumped into one of the wheelie bins out behind the kitchen. No sign of him (either dead or alive) there, but on my way back to the room I also realised that none of us has seen the van since the 28th either.
Panicking, I ran all the way back to the room. I asked Elrohir if he'd seen the van anywhere, and he got a funny look on his face and said no, last he saw was Aragorn driving off to find beer. I panicked further and had a look under the beds and in all the drawers, but Aragorn's things were all gone. So we have been abandoned here! Or, more likely, I have been abandoned! Elrohir and Gildor don't seem to give a toss either way. In fact, they think it's "cool".
Not knowing what else to do, I started a game of pinball while waiting for my internet to connect so that I could check my email. I got a new high score, too- 5.436.000- so maybe stress is the key to good pinball playing. Then once the internet was connected, I found an email reply from Círdan.
From: "Círdan" <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Schoolyear startup
I wouldn't worry at all if I were you. You've
already registered for all of your classes (if
I am correct you've chosen phys. ed. and
computer science as electives?), so the only
thing left to do is show up. There have been
a few changes to the program since last year,
but nothing that won't be explained on your
first day back, and the changes have no effect
on your registration.
So no worries for now, and we'll see you on
Wednesday! University starts up in three days! And here I am, abandoned in a cheap motel in Rohan with two idiots and no car! And even if I did have a car, there's no way I could get to the Grey Havens or even back to Rivendell in time for school! I think I need to go confer with Glorfindel. His cynical surliness always helps to put things into perspective.
LATER: I had a conference with Aralindë. She was carrying a plate of brownies when she answered the door. There was no store-bought packaging to be seen, so I must assume that Glorfindel made them. She said, "Yah, what do you want?"
I said, "Is Glorfindel here?" which, in retrospect, was a really stupid question, since if Aralindë was there wearing a flowery blue bikini, where else would he be?
She nodded and gestured to the bed where Glorfindel lay sleeping, wearing swim shorts and clutching his pink blankie. She said that she was waiting for him to wake up from his nap so they could go to the waterslides, but unfortunately that might be a while since they were up very late last night in the Winnebago's kitchenette trying to figure out how to make vegan brownies, and Glorfindel (being old) doesn't take late nights very well.
Then she went on to talk about a package of hair clips she bought from a drugstore in Edoras that are, in her opinion, completely substandard. Half are already broken, so she's thinking of writing a complaint email to the company accusing them of knowingly selling a shoddy product at an outrageous price. I had to sit graciously and listen to her talk about the hairclips, smudgy eyeliner pencils, which brand of lipstick tastes best, shampoo that doesn't lather, and whether or not Glorfindel looks good in red.
Afterward, when she had to stop and breathe, I told her all about my troubles. Her suggestion was that I just buy my own car and drive myself. I was about to explain why this plan could never work, but the more I thought about it, the more I realised there was no other choice. Actually, there was another choice, but that was driving back home with her and Glorfindel in the Winnebago. And honestly, I'd rather walk.
I went back to the room and checked my bank balance online. As far as my calculations go, I have just enough money to buy a 40-year-old Chevette. Probably a brown one with one blue door, covered in Bondo. I will have to wear a disguise while driving. Or else I'll have to see how much money Elrohir has, and maybe together we can afford something one step up.
Elrohir and I are now the proud owners of a 2981 Mercury Topaz. As per my imagination, it is beige, though the front passenger side door is blue. The rear passenger side door doesn't open. It is just for show, apparently. Elrohir has named the car "Ol' Grindey", after the peculiar noise it makes when started. He's quite taken with it, and has already stuck a sticker that says "GLAM" in the rear window, and a plastic dog with a bobbing head on the dash. There is talk of purchasing a glittery license plate frame and zebra-stripe seat covers. I have to pretend not to hear him whenever he says such things.
Now I figure that if we leave the motel immediately and drive all day and night at twice the speed limit, not stopping for food or drinks or anything except petrol, we might just make it to the Grey Havens by Thursday. From there Elrohir can catch a plane and be home in time for his first day back at the U of R on the 7th. Dad will be furious with both of us, but I don't really care.
Now Elrohir has gone to find a convenience store that sells pine-tree-shaped car air fresheners (the Topaz smells a bit like cat pee) while I pack up our things. I don't know where Gildor's gone. Not that it really matters, since we're leaving him behind. He has a credit card; he can fend for himself. When I went to say goodbye to Glorfindel, I told him to let Gildor know that we left. Glorfindel nodded and said he would, but I'm not entirely sure that he'll remember. He was standing at the Winnebago kitchenette sink washing grapes (Aralindë was helping by picking out the mushy ones) when I told him, and I'm fairly certain he was paying more attention to the grapes than to me.
I am not going back to the Grey Havens. I am not going back to university. In fact, I am not even going back to civilisation. Ever. I will spend the rest of my life roaming the wild, living in the Topaz, killing Orcs, stealing their wallets, and using the ill-gotten funds to pay for room and board at motels of ill repute that offer only three television channels, all of which show naught but Antiques Road Show and Murder She Wrote. Elrohir is coming with me.
We are heading north, back toward Rivendell, but we're not going home. No, I don't think I'll ever be able to show my face around there ever again. From this day on, I will be forced to live on the fringes of society.
My picture is on the front of the Eregion Enquirer, with a yellow headline containing my name and the word "GAY" in letters so big you could read them from the moon. In the photo, I am wearing Arwen's rhinestone shirt and standing outside the club in Lórien.
Elrohir brought the paper back from the convenience store, along with a designer-scented PineFresh car tree, fourteen pieces of beef jerky, Bugs Bunny PEZ, and a pack of chocolate cigarettes. As he handed me the paper, he tried to make things better by saying that he's in the photo too. Which is true, insofar as the side of his head was indeed caught by the camera, though it is motion-blurred beyond recognition. He offered me a consolation PEZ.
I have already emailed Galdor to let him know he'll have to find a new roommate, as I am never going to see him again. He can keep the dEUS CDs he borrowed, and the Suede poster I left on the wall. I have no use for them now. I haven't worked up the nerve to email Círdan yet, though I probably should as he's the type to worry that I'm dead in a ditch somewhere being eaten by insects when I don't show up for class tomorrow.
Dad, who obviously doesn't believe me to be dead in a ditch, sent an email that started off calmly enough mentioning that Legolas has gone back to Mirkwood and Arwen has returned safely from volleyball camp, though soon it turned into a full reprimand over me being irresponsible and missing my plane. I would reply if I thought he would at all understand my situation, but although he has himself been on the cover of the Enquirer several times as a result of his interesting relationship with Gil-galad, it's not at all the same, since everybody knew about that already. My being photographed coming out of a gay dance club, however, will come as a complete shock to everyone, and I don't think I'll be able to deal with their onslaught of questions and concerns.
So Elrohir will be my sole companion from this day forth. I have forgiven him for all the stupid things he's ever done to me, in particular putting a nasturtium leaf in my cucumber sandwich at the end-of-school picnic when we were sixteen and making me vomit in front of the entire class. I have also given in and confided to him the entire story of my encounter with Erestor. He looked at me expressionlessly throughout the entire confession, nodding every once in a while. He must be in shock. I know he would never think me the sort of person to do anything like that.
But in any case, he is still here with me and the Topaz on our flight from the past, which is reassuring. And he has offered to wear an eye patch and make up false names for us to use when others are around so we're not recognised. He really is a very nice and considerate person when he remembers to be. Though I suspect that we should both be thoroughly sick of each other by the end of the month, and I will be desperate to have the company of anyone but him.
I don't suppose I have much of a choice now, do I?
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