And on my eighth day I attended a poetry reading at the Curiousi-Tea House. This is where I met Kathleen. A prolific poet, she asked me to read one of her poems. I agreed. But only with the stipulation that she write a poem for me in return. This is the poem:
At the Tea House, I asked a young woman to read a poem I wrote. I agreed to pen her “eight days” adventures, and then she cleared her throat. Tamara is a traveling physical therapist in seven states, licensed in each one. Here in the land of “Minnesota Nice”, her adventures are both bazaar and full of … fun???
Tired and hungry, it was dark when she arrived, upon hearing the “voice” of the car, she revived. The navigation system said “motel, next left on this street”, however, the little voice inside her head said, “Don’t stay. RETREAT!” She had been in many motels but never one built to resemble a storage lot!” She conceded, but tomorrow she’d find relief from this pepper pot!
Checked in, she slowly opened the door to the rented “shed” for a room. It had a bed, a closet, and a bath but still smelled of cheap perfume. Two doors down she saw a man sitting on a cooler. One could tell instantly he wasn’t a lawyer, a banker or even a jeweler.
On day two, on the Internet she started to search. Today she’d find a nice room to rent or maybe that small house next to a church. A few rent-a-room ads with names and numbers popped up on the screen. Hunger became a priority, she googled a restaurant with a five-star rating for great cuisine. She was getter ready to go when the tapping AND then a wrapping began on her door. Through the peephole, saw the man from two doors down, “Oh CRAP!” she quietly swore.
He came over and invited her to share his dinner. She declines, like lottery odds; she knew she wouldn’t come out the winner. Offered her his fork and juice in a stained and dirty cup, then pulled a pocket knife from his coat but there was nothing to cut up. He’d stare at the cooler, as if it helps the Holy Grail. Her search of public records showed he was a sex offender recently released from jail.
“Oh no, ‘female’ company was his greatest current need.” If he came closer, she would use her fist to split his lip and make him bleed. He finally got the message, backed off and went away. Or who knows, our morning paper might have read, “Unknown female – a victim of foul play.”
On this day she was determined to find a house or room to rent. All day called landlords and looked; yet nothing…that’s exactly how it went. About to give up, an own of a local hotel said he could rent her a room at his place. Furthermore, every other workweek, the whole house, not just a room, could be used as her space.
She thought she would follow him, but he didn’t have a car. Looking back on her last few days this didn’t surprise her, it was just par! His accent made his directions hard to follow or understand. Made out the street and number, programmed the navigation system, take a quick look and hurry back was the plan.
She got excited as they drove up to a beautiful home situated on the lake. He opened the door revealing rooms without furniture. “Really? For Pete’s sake!” He explained he only had enough money to secure a home loan. Blah, bah, blah … an epiphany! She was smack dab in the Twilight zone. These last eight days were surreal, absolutely bizarre. If this is “Minnesota Nice” it was past time to say ‘au revoir’.
This is the poem I penned to tell your story word for word. Maybe it is embellished just a bit, but I thought it was what I heard. Tamara, I wish you well in all your adventures that lay ahead. May have been better to forego your request, but glad my poem was read.
Author: Kathleen Schuetz August 23, 2016
Thanks for penning these memories Kathleen. I will always remember our meeting over tea.