Thursday, July 10, 2008

"That man was a bastard!!!!" (part 4)

Timberline Lodge was having a barbeque, and I tried to tempt the boys. They would have none of it though, loudly proclaiming their preference to leave for Kahneeta. Consequently they were hungry and a bit peckish when we arrived about an hour before we could check into our room. So we ate in the restaurant there (and it was quite good!) and gazed longingly at the pool below.

A curious thing about Kahneeta is its hidden rough edges. The lodge is constructed basically in the shape of an obtuse triangle. All the rooms face east, with a good number overlooking...the resort's sewage treatment plant! Our room wasn't one of those, but we did have a misstep with the one elevator that serviced an entire wing of 5 floors. There is no indicator light so one knows what level they're on. Consequently we got off on level 3 when we thought we were on level 2. Since we'd already waited a very long time for the lift (full off luggage carts and people) we decided to just hoof our stuff down the steps.

The room is spacious with a balcony overlooking the desert hills. The boys went out to swim with Gary while I checked for an internet connection. Found that it's not available in the rooms, only in the lobby. When I was ready to head for the pool I noticed a sign on the towel shelf requesting guests to not take towels out to the pool. I noted that Gary had taken them. The sign also said that towels were available at the front desk and at the "Fitness Center". I took the stairs and then realized I'd overshot the pool deck and because of the layout had to walk all the way around the perimeter to get back to the access. I went to the front desk to request a towel and was told I had to get them at the fitness center. "Right by the vending machines". Passed the empty vending machines, found the towels, back to the pool. Blocking the entry was a family, the apparent head of it saying to one of its members: "I thought you had a fucking hamburger". One of the members reached out to guide him out of the way when they saw me waiting.

Perhaps the casino doesn't attract the most classiest of clientele. I think it was the disregard for the presence of others that bothered me. From the unsteadiness of his gait as I later saw him walking toward their spot laden with beverages I surmised the drinking had been pretty steady. Later I noted them throwing each other into the pool fully dressed.

But, for the moment I wanted one of those beverages. A marguerita would taste quite good. So I retraced his steps in to the bar. There was a woman behind the bar, but from her steadfast avoidance of eye contact it was clear that she wasn't there to pour drinks. I joined a woman who'd clearly been waiting a while. Presently the harried-looking bar-tender walked by pushing a food cart. When it was my turn I asked if I could use my room key to charge it to my room. He wanted to know my room number. It wasn't on the key card, but I fortunately remembered it. He consulted his computer and said I had to make some arrangement with the front desk for room-card privileges. As I had no cash and it was a long walk to the room I returned to the poolside empty-handed.

Back at the room I was lobbying the family for a walk. At the front desk I'd been handed a trails map and thought it might be nice to do just before sunset. Overt resistance from Connor, and this time I insisted. "Look, we've been doing things the way you've wanted to do them and sometimes you've got to reciprocate." So there was an agreement that there would be a walk, but no one was moving off the bed or turning off the TV. In exasperation I proclaimed I was going to go by myself at which point Gary rousted them.

From our balcony it appeared that we could walk over toward the stables and access the trailhead, but instead the grounds dead-ended at a steep slope on the far corner. As we were finding another way around Scott suddenly had to use the toilet. We were close to the fitness room and opted to use the toilet in there. The door was locked, but the toilet vacated shortly after, but Scott decided he needed that moment for a drink at the drinking fountain. I decided to take the opportunity for myself, and while using it there was a knock. Assuming it was Scott I said, "You'll have to wait a moment. (You lost your turn)" There was a hard knock, and then a very loud slap. "Stop that!" I exclaimed.

When I opened the door, there he was, very upset. He said that it hadn't been him that hit the door, it had been a man. And, "That man was a bastard!" "Scott, I don't want to hear you use that word again. It's not appropriate for a seven year old." He used the toilet and we walked out into the fitness center. "Dad", said Scott, "A man hit the bathroom door while Mom was inside. Why did he do that? That man was a bastard!" "Scott..."

Into the lobby of the lodge. Scott's telling Gary the entire story, and ending with the refrain, "That man was a bastard!" At this point I was thoroughly exasperated. "Scott, I'm going to take you into that bathroom there (the lobby restroom) and wash your mouth out with soap!" (I've never made that threat before. Odd to hear it coming out of my mouth.) "I swear, if it was not ok for you to say that a minute ago, it's not ok now either! Now I mean it, I don't want to hear it again."

Outside the lodge, headed toward what looked like a trail. Scott is furious with me and demanding that I apologize. In defiance he walks up on a curb, which he slips off of and falls, skinning his ankle a bit. When he saw the spot of blood he began to sob that he needed a band-aid.

It's becoming clear to me by now that we're not having any kind of a walk that night, but I have hope that we still might be able to walk up the hill behind the hotel. I manage to get him to accept that if it's still bleeding when we return I'll get him a band-aid from the front desk.

Headed up the hill his thoughts returned to the bathroom experience, and his need to tell the tale. I explain to him that he can say he's angry with the man, that the man behaved poorly, even was stupid, but he cannot call the man a bastard. We're up on a rim rock looking down on the lodge and I'm nervous because both he and Connor are wanting to stand up on the rock and there's a long drop in front of them. I can trust that Connor can keep a presence of mind and awareness of his position, but I don't have that trust for Scott. However, Scott feels if Connor has gone an inch higher than himself than it's unjust for him to have not achieved the exact elevation. And he can't rest inside until he's satisfied himself that he has done this.

So, we're starting down and a Scott's feet slip from under him and he lands on his butt and hands. A small piece of skin on his palm has peeled back and so we stand for a while with our arms around each other. To my surprise he removes the piece of skin and allows me to pour a little water over it. But it's clear our walk is over.

At least all thoughts of bastards are driven from his mind.


Douglas W said...

Now this is no excuse for Scott to say what he said... but it reminds me that there was a book once written by some disillusioned woman who had obviously had a few bad experiences... it was called "All Men Are Bastards"....

She was wrong....

excavator said...

Yep. It was just "THAT man" that was the bastard.