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I come back slowly, on my own accord. I’m on the floor, having at some point in the night fallen out of bed … I haven’t really ever been a good sound sleeper, its either nightmares or this. Anyway, my clothes stick to me in a stiff but slightly damp manner. Standing, I shake myself out of the cocoon of blankets from the bed, and groggily walk into the bathroom. I practically jump out of my skin at the look of myself in the mirror. My hair is matted, sticking up and out in random places; my eyes are puffy, bloodshot, and bagged; my skin has the blanket’s creases marking dark ridges in the skin; and blood and dirt fill my pores, especially on my legs and feet where sand and burs stick and rash painfully.
A quick shower fixes my hair, crease indents, dirt and blood clots, gets me in some clean clothes and wakes me up a bit. Then I sit on the edge of the tub and start pulling the burs out of the bottoms of my feet, wincing and hissing every once in a while till all the beach barbs are out. I let warm water run over the cuts and splinters, washing away the blood, then I dry my feet with a towel and bandage them up in gauze wraps. Last night I didn’t realize how painful these things were to walk on, but now I wince at every step. Sighing, I pace, jog in place, and do other things to get my pain sensors used to the foot discomfort.
Time: 1:47 pm, I’ve got about an hour and forty-five minutes before the meeting. I decide to eat and head to the place early, scope it out. Slipping on some knew shoes, but not socks because that would be difficult with the gauze, I don’t even bother cleaning up after myself. They know I’d stayed here somewhere, and by 4 pm all the money in my fake id’s account will have transferred through a hundred different countries, names, and currencies. I place the key on the empty desk in the lobby, glad no one is seeing me leave. Walking across town, I come across a steak house, my mouth waters till I about drown in my own saliva.
Entering brings me to an elegant, but well priced, room of meat. I’m seated almost immediately, then order one of everything. A larger order, yes. Can I eat it? Yes! I smile at my waitress’s surprise, but I am too hungry to eat- I mean think of a good excuse … ya this probably will be difficult. My excuse is that I’ve been traveling for several days straight; living off airplane garbage and a friend had recommended everything. After reassuring that I could pay, she hurries off to the kitchen. A few minutes later she returns with her boss saying he wants me to pay in advance. I oblige and hand over my credit card, even if it was a scam the money not used by the meal would be gone before they get to a computer to use it.
I drink bottled water, while I wait, and try to think over my situation. But then the food comes and all orderly thoughts are gone. Continuously it comes; the moment I finish one thing another arrives to follow. The way I travel affects my eating habits, it goes as such: eat little while traveling, it keeps the animal side of me alert and on edge for ‘food’ which I’ve trained to watch for, but it’s really danger; then when staying somewhere, gorge on fatty food to keep me going and make up for lost calories. My mom, back in my teen days, used to worry and tried to get me on a diet but it just wouldn’t work that way.
Upon finishing, I check the clock and see I still have half an hour to reach the meeting place. It took a while but finally I find my credit card under the pile of empty plates, and am happy I paid in advance so now I can just leave. Walking down the street to cross to the other side of town, not the side with my motel, I almost laugh at how all that food didn’t even extend my stomach. Having food on the stomach feels good, but thankfully not sleepy, I’ve still got a lot of work to do today. Stopping at a stoplight corner, I press the button, and stretch. Time for a lightening run.
The light changes, and I jog off. I have to keep the food from getting heavy in my stomach, so I’ve got to work it some. I reach the bar in fifteen minutes, the moment I walk in I can feel all the traps that are set up for me coiling in my gut like my heart dropped in dread. Narrow-eyed confidence walks me to the table near the closed door that leads upstairs, my exit, the one they thought they had blocked well enough to keep me out. Sitting with my back to the corner made from the wall and the door, I watch. My view picks out every gun holder, every poisoned drink- not just the regular alcohol poison … did you know that’s stuff is actually toxic waste!?! YUCK! … anyway-, and every trick up their sleeve. All my senses combined practically gives me night vision, x-ray vision, and every other kind of vision and goggles known to man … and those not so known.
Having checked everything out, I decide it’s time for a little practice. I don’t want to ever drown in my senses again, so I’ve wanted to try focusing on one sense and see what all I can get from it. … but as you can see I haven’t really had time recently. But right now I have about ten minutes. Taking a deep breath, I close my eyes and focus only on hearing, it and smell can be the most overwhelming. I inundate myself into the world of noise, and at first it almost chokes me. Then I breath and start sifting.
Every noise within several miles bombards me. Mentally I picture bins, each with a picture on it. Breathing deeply, I focus on the bin with a phone on it, then I start pulling out phone conversations and noises and put them in the bin. Once I’m done with that, I focus on the bin with a car on it, and start placing all car noises in it. I do this with every category, with every sound, till I have just one group of noises without a bin lying in front of me. These are the noises that my subconscious tells me are about myself and that I shouldn’t place in their proper bins so I can analyze then.
One noise in particular grabs my attention, one that’s still several miles away, but is very important, so important it makes my heart pound hard in my chest, sweat bead my body, and my focus to waver at the want for it not to be true. I’m so focused on pulling that strand of noise out of the pile, I almost forget where I am. Then a sound very close pulls me to attention.
“Jack Wolf?” a man, my hunter, asks as he sits down across from me.