Chapter Twenty-Six


The son and Storm greet the sunrise at the Morton Motor Lodge



Their 6:30 wake-up call leaves them time to make love again in the morning. Then the son must get ready for school. In the bathroom, he looks fondly upon the mementos of last night's debauchery: half-burnt candle, empty wine bottle, roaches in the ashtray. When he comes back to the bed to wake Storm and tell her goodbye, she sits up, kisses him, pushes her hair out of her eyes and surveys the darkness around her. "I should put them in my car," she says, "before the maid comes."

"Will she know what they are?" the son asks.

"Never know," Storm says. "Don't take chances with dope." She pats him absently to smooth the path of this gentle advice. Rarely does she say anything to make him conscious of the difference in their ages. "Hope they don't freeze," she mumbles.

"You want me to take them to the trailer?" the son asks. "You can tell me when to water them or whatever, till you find an apartment."

Storm considers his suggestion. "I might have to come and take care of them sometimes," she says. "Would that be cool?"

"Well, it would be cool with me, but--"

"Your mother?"

"No. She was home last weekend." He has told Storm all about Mona and her visiting schedule. "But, you know, Adolf's is, like . . . you won't be impressed."

"Yes, I will," Storm says, smiling. "I bet the trailer park is far out."

So just before dawn the son loads her plants into the trunk of the Bel Air. Then he starts it up, and Storm uses her two plastic glasses, one still wine stained, to bring him hot water from the bathroom sink. While the son pours one steaming glassful over the thickly frosted windshield, Storm fills the other glass and brings it to the door, where he meets her and trades an empty glass for a full one. This bucket-line method is faster than scraping or waiting for the car to warm up. Finally the son calls, "Enough" and brings back the last empty glass.

The sky is lightening now, and a few fellow-early risers stare because Storm is naked in the doorway, with only her tousled yard-long hair to cover her frozen nipples, like a miniature, mountless Lady Godiva in winter. The son is happy these guests are up to witness the tableau created when he bends to kiss the beautiful nude woman with whom he has obviously spent the night in room 146. Then he races for the Bel Air, hoping to make it to Morton High before the homeroom bell rings.

As he drives away, Storm, still standing naked and shockingly perfect in the doorway, smiles and waves to him, completely unself-conscious. She really has tossed out all the bullshit, middle-class values that characterize Greased Morton, Ohio, the son reflects. He has been foolish to avoid her. How can a mystical affinity such as they share possibly be wrong? It elevates him. Though he will be physically present for his required six hours at school today, he will be transcendent. Upon students coming straight from cozy bedrooms in their parents' little homes, from breakfast tables in bright Beaver Cleaver kitchens where Mom serves up the pancakes and Dad doles out the lunch money, the son will look with contented disdain. He will be still warm from the motel-room bed of a gorgeous, long-haired, freaky, 22-year-old, married chick. Sex for him is no longer a quick weekend thrill in the backseat of Daddy's car. It is motel rendezvous and candlelit bubble baths and other things as yet unknown but soon to be revealed, he is sure. He has had a woman, not corn flakes, for breakfast--fucked her barely 30 minutes before the start of first-period Senior English--and will walk into the building today with Storm still on him. Of course he will not boast about it, but he hopes he bears some kind of invisible mark that will tell (everyone but Tonya) where he has spent the night. Already, he is addicted to the difference between himself and others.


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