Tale of two Peters
By Parson Thru
Background: hectic social busy in the usual way.
Chatting in a group of people some place like a university lobby. One of the people is Peter Orlovsky. Allen was probably there, then. A youthful and handsome Orlovsky.
As things began to wind up, I needed to go up to my room in the hostel and pack for a few days. In the course of our conversation, it turns out that Peter was heading to Madrid, too. Booked onto a Ryanair flight that afternoon. Happy coincidence.
We walked up the broad, modern stairway the couple of floors to my pad. What a mess! He came in and waited and we talked.
I found an overnight bag on the floor by the bed and started rummaging for clothes. I don’t know how I’d let it get so bad. The drawers were all open with a mix of clean and dirty clothes hanging out.
I messed around and messed around, pulling things out, holding them up, changing my mind and putting them back. Peter was looking at his watch. Getting nervous about his flight. Time passed.
I tried a different chest of drawers, same thing. A couple of pairs of trousers, shirts, socks, underwear. How could it be so difficult? Well, I didn’t know what the weather might be like. What time of year was it, after all?
Peter started shuffling, making ready to go. This was agonising.
Finally, I stuffed some things in the bag and we shipped out. Fortunately, the check-in desk was only downstairs.
Peter checked-in. Why not online? Just wasn’t that way.
The woman looked at my ticket. I’d been bounced off my flight. COVID-19 restrictions. Peter stood bemused, waiting to go to the gate.
I asked if there was room on the same flight as Peter. Full, was the answer.
I reasoned with her that they were never full just now. Hardly anyone is travelling. My flights last week were half-full, if that.
I really didn’t want to pass this opportunity up. I could see us there in Madrid in my head. What good times.
The woman consulted her screen and did the usual messing about, pursing her lips and silently sighing at the inconvenience. Peter was very good. If he was impatient, he didn’t let it show.
I gave a little flat smile to the woman. Communicating Please! With my eyes.
Well, these things being what they are, she found a seat, of course, and then the telephone rang.
I dragged myself up, leaving poor Peter in the lurch and ran downstairs. Margaret, wife of my mother’s cousin Peter in Perth, Australia. Half past eight in the morning? I suppose they don’t realise the clocks have gone back. My mother? No. She’s still in bed. No chance before eleven.