Woke up early my second morning in Boston, and to quote that eloquent New York thug, Hoppy Uniatz - I had a toist.
My toist wasn't for coffee, or anything as pedestrian as water. My toist was for God's drink - Diet Coke.
We'd shut tight the hotel room curtains the night before - after Kristina had gotten her second wind. After Kristina had commenced to jumping, in the dark, from bed to sofa to ground, and back again - all whilst yelling Action Girl!
So the drapes were shut to help quell the sound. Perhaps the dark where the curtains met was a bit less than night. And me, lying in that dark, next to the Lump that was my daughter, Elizabeth. Lying there trying to disregard the cravings of thirst. Attempting to imagine something - anything - all things not Diet Coke.
Everyone else in this blackish room was tired. Tired from the second day of our vacation. Tired from the time change - West to East. Tired from the shenanigans of Action Girl! My accomplices would surely snooze longer. Would not miss me if I slipped into the cool wet murk of this Boston dawn. To search like the Ripper for the only thing that would slake my thirst.
Would Karen forgive me if I left? For only the five minutes it would take to prowl those cobbles outside for a drink, for a drink, for a drink?
Karen would understand. Karen must understand.
Scootched from bed, slipped on my Going-Out clothes. Quiet, quiet. I was at the door, opening it so gently, when I remembered my wallet, forgotten on the bureau.
My wallet is actually a sterling cigarette case from the '20's - but it does the job.
I crept back through the pitchy room, palmed the cool silver, and turned to creep back for the door - and that's when my eyes slipped across the two Lumps in our two beds.
But there should be three! Karen, Elizabeth and Kristina. I squinted hard through the inky not-light:
One Lump + One Lump = Two. Elizabeth in my bed, Lump One. Kristina in Karen's, small Lump Two.
Where was Karen?
Horrors! Not out, no - not out. But she must be! Must have awoken before I, with her own toist. A toist that we call Grande Nonfat Latte.
Had she debated the merits of her rash decision? Tossed and turned until she could toss no more, then left us lying, by ourselves, in those two beds? Leaving the One Two and Three without a second thought?
The early bird, satisfied again.