Amos had, for the first time ever, arrived late to work.
He assumed everyone was too polite to say anything.
He sat at his desk and thought about this ‘vacation’
his wife and daughter had taken, considering it might
be wise for him to also take a vacation.
After all, three weeks of an empty house, of having
to do laundry and cook and clean was unbearable.
Better he went away.
Of course, he didn’t have the money to go to the
Caribbean, and by the way, where was that?
Obviously Lucy had not wanted to tell him.
That was cruel.
Well he could not afford to fly anywhere or book into
a hotel, but he could drive up to Lake George.
Last year, on their holiday, he’d taken his family to
Lake George, to a particular motor inn. He recalled
other people, not guests, who would drive in for the
day, then out. Well he could do that too.
Perhaps he could sleep in his car.
He could drive up, park amid the guests, enjoy the
lake, buy a meal or two, and sleep in his car so as
to get another day of pretend vacation.
The worst that could happen is that he’d be told to
drive out and if forced, take a room. It was not that
expensive. One small room for the night. He could
put it on the credit card.
He approached his boss and asked for two weeks, his
due vacation, which he’d planned to take next month.
He had a few lies ready in case questioned, but
Mrs. Pillar didn’t seem to care at all and told him
to begin his vacation on Monday.
As he had nothing to go home to, he worked until six
as if he really was clearing up for his vacation.
He wasn’t the type to go to a bar. He could go to a gym.
He could waste two hours at a gym easily. But that would
cost money. And he really didn’t have very much on him.
As he had to eat and wasn’t up to cooking he decided to
go to the gym’s canteen, eat healthy and sit around.
He did as he had programmed himself and arrived home at
nine. He did exercises until ten, coughing and wheezing,
but telling himself to continue, then fell into bed and
He began packing on Thursday and though he wanted to
leave right after work on Friday there was a bit of a rain
and he spent that night at home.
He began his drive to Lake George at seven on Saturday
and arrived at ten, proud to have found the Motel easily.
He didn’t recall the security guard at the gate before and
his heart sank. No doubt they were preventing strangers
from using the property.
“You’re late.” The guard said to him.
“Excuse me?” Amos retorted, for he was sure the
guard was going to say, “Are you a guest?”
“You were supposed to be here at nine.” The guard emphasized.
“Oh.” Amos replied aware he had been mistaken for
someone else and a bit amused by it.
“Mr. Wagner is waiting for you in the office, park here.”
Amos was directed to a ‘Management Only’ area.
He parked and emerged from his faded Chevy in
better humour than he had been for quite sometime.
He sauntered to the Office which was marked by
a large sign and entered.
“Mr. Wagner?” He called, playing along with the script,
expecting, ‘who are you?’ then amusingly explaining the
“Glad you made it!” Beamed a short fat man, extending
his hand, “that was some pile up!”
“Tell me about it.” Amos replied, feeling so clever his
remark could be taken both ways.
“When nine o’clock came and I didn’t see you I was pissed.
But then the news came on about the seventeen car pile
up I was worried you might be in it.”
“You’re ready to begin, Jack?” Said Mr. Wagner, “or would
you like me to go over it a last time?”
“Go over it.” Amos requested, really enjoying the game.
“The room rates are here, listed where anyone can see
them. Check out time is Noon, I don’t care what time
the guests arrived. And we don’t rent by the hour. This
is a family place. Any one wants a quickie, not here!”
Amos was beginning to realise the game was afoot.
Obviously Jack Whoever was supposed to take up a
job as manager.
Should he admit the truth or let the game continue?
“Your room is here, you get your meals. Your usual
hours are from eleven in the morning to seven at night.
You get a break when you can but you’re on call twenty
four hours in case anything happens. I’ll be with you
today and tomorrow, then you’re on your own.
“You don’t mind if I use the facilities? Swim? Mingle?”
“No, as long as you do it outside your working hours.
Can’t have the manager in the lake when guests are
“You’re off on Mondays, but not this Monday, cause
I won’t be here. I fill in for you on Monday. As I told
you, it’s a six day job.”
“Oh, by the way, would you fill in another form?”
“What happened to the first?”
“I put my coffee cup on it.” Wagner gave apologetically
showing him the big brown circle on the short application
Amos gave the form a quick study, but needn’t of as
Wagner left it on the desk.
Amos couldn’t match the handwriting, saw an old
typewriter, hoped it still worked. Luck was with him.
He was now Jack Morgan, of such and such address.
Amos debated changing the social security number,