We all need a little joy these days. So, from Joyland:
In our fifth roadside motel room Alice is standing in front of the mirror examining her face carefully. She is wearing nothing more than a pair of white knee socks with a tiny lavender bow stitched just above the back of each slender cotton calf.
While she studies herself her tailless grey and white rescue cat, Olive, circles the perimeter of her ankles methodically. Alice leans down, mascara wand in hand, and scratches the animal’s eager brow.
The cat is not travelling well. We both knew this would be the case, but Alice insisted and I relented.
This particular motel manager said no pets, but Alice managed to charm him just like she charmed the rest of them.
The rest of them. All of them. Me.
I have been in love with Alice and her ever-changing pair of knee socks for six days and two hours now. I have known her for four months and two weeks. I will not tell her that I am in love with her for another six and a half months, and by then it will be far too late.
But here in this roadside motel, with this mangled, rescued cat, I know this love to be entirely true. CBC plays an animated version of “O Canada” that they have been playing for as long as I can remember, a watercolour homage to national unity to end the viewing day. I change the channel. [more]