Drew followed an old couple from the parking lot/visitors center area to Old Faithful. One gray haired, the other probably balding under the brimmed hat, they looked a bit odd as they held hands and bumped into one another like a couple of green kids. Drew blinked a few times, but they didn’t seem to be any kind of hallucination. Maybe people in Wyoming were a little different. Then again, this place brought them in from all over the world.
Not many of them were out on the curved walk way along one side of the geyser, though. The sub-zero temperatures might have had something to do with it. People stepped out of the buildings, shivered, and went back in. He’d almost done the same, but he wasn’t yet ready to deal with his situation.
After Mexican emigration put him on a plane, he’d arrived safely at the Denver airport, then taken a taxi to the business district. He’d bought a backpack in which he’d placed the most casual of the clothing from his suitcase. Then he’d gone to the post office, and mailed the bag that got him into so much trouble in Mexico to Suzie’s House. Surely it could do no harm there.
He’d picked up what he thought was a good winter jacket from the Army/Navy store, along with some of those MRE food packets, and put out his thumb. The first ride he’d caught dropped him off in the parking lot, and here he was.
With a flush bank account and credit cards in his wallet, he had assumed he didn’t need to keep much else with him. He hadn’t counted on the need for reservations.
Nothing seemed to be happening at the low railing around the geyser. He reached into his pocket for his cell phone to check the time, then remembered he no longer had it. He’d long since ditched his watch, so could only rely on the way people around him acted to tell him the time.
The lovey-dovey old couple stood a bit to the right of him. They leaned together with their arms across one another’s backs, though it looked like they trembled slightly. That could have been from the cold.
His eyes were still fixed on them when Old Faithful sent up a spurt of steam. He wasn’t real impressed at first, but the plume rose higher, and continued longer than he expected.
When it died down, he continued to stare, his mind on what to do.
Was he clean enough to go home yet? Could he keep his head together enough to not frighten Suzie? He stared at his hands as if to find the answers there, found the weather too cold, and stuffed them back into his pockets.
The people around the geyser wandered off. The lovey-dovey couple headed off along the trail that skirted around Old Faithful then up into the hills. He round himself walking along behind them, following as if he was expected.
In a way, it was nice to see a couple so clearly in love after so many years. He wanted the same thing for himself.
The old man glanced behind, meeting Drew’s eyes. Shocked to realize he’d been tailing them, Drew turned around. He went into the lodge to see if anyone had cancelled their reservations.
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