Enough Rope

Hook Stone woke in the rear bedroom of his deer camp and saw a halo of white light on his bedroom ceiling. He blinked a few times and yes, a halo was still up there. He blinked some more, trying to clear his vision and his mind.

Hook found himself head down the bearskin rug on his bedroom floor, with his left leg still on the bed, his right leg crossed over it uncomfortably. Hook’s body weight pinned his hands to the floor under his back. A blindingly bright LED bulb in a bedside table lamp burned into his eyeballs. His head hurt. He lay semi-comatose on the floor.

As Hook’s head gradually cleared he looked up through filmy eyes at two decorative rubber trees on either side of the bed. He wondered why he had never seen the underside of those leaves before. Whose idea was it to have rubber trees in the bedroom anyway? He couldn’t recall how plants came to be there beside the bed.

Bedclothes spilled in a tangled mass around Hook. Something happened last night up on the bed’s surface. Something that must have involved a lot of thrashing around. Hook tried to pull his hands out from under himself but discovered they were enmeshed in sheets and pillows. He relaxed back onto the floor. His mouth felt like it was clogged with cotton and cardboard.  

A voice from the camp’s kitchen drifted into Hook’s brain, but he couldn’t quite make out words. He listened more closely, and realized with a shock it was a female voice. The voice was singing and humming an unfamiliar tune. Cookware sounds mixed in with the musical voice. Hook smelled eggs cooking, and the unmistakable aroma of coffee drifted into his bedroom as well. He struggled once more against entangling bedding and bumped into the bedside lamp table. Several beer cans clattered onto the floor. Rolling up onto his shoulder he saw the cans were Bud Lite empties. Hook groaned and rolled onto his back.

“How we feeling this morning?” asked a cheery voice. Wild Mountain Thyme was standing in the bedroom doorway. Hook looked at her and thought “No! No way!” He grunted and tried to make his tongue form words, but no words could be found.

“Still a little hung over, eh?” The cheery voice moved back to the kitchen. More cooking noises continued. The voice hummed low to itself now.

The scent of coffee inspired Hook to reach deep into his memory. He dimly recalled driving his Kawasaki A.T.V. through the national forest woods with his brother Grub the day previous. He could also remember a confused meeting with a group of hikers that included Wild Mountain Thyme. His mind was a blank after that.

Hook let go of his illusions of control. Somehow he had been overcome and deceived by his own innate horniness and his ferocious beer habit. It had happened before, and more than once. Having made his bed, now found himself lying tangled in the remains of it. Hook was not one to beat himself up. It wasn’t his first rodeo. He knew sometimes consequences are imposed upon individuals who get themselves into the wrong place at the wrong time. Bad things could and did happen to good people; Hook had seen that more than once. Such consequences hadn’t been fatal to him yet, even though they might be inconvenient or posibly embarrassing. Hook had left embarrassment behind years ago as a useless emotion.

Circumstances being what they were, Hook stopped struggling. He put what remained of his mind in a mental neighborhood where he could let some time go by. Eventually, he knew he would release himself from his tangled sheets, get up a little wiser, and hopefully find himself not much the worse for wear. Hook already knew how he had ended up in today’s particular situation. This morning, however, inner issues he was hung up on when he first wrapped himself and Wild Mountain Thyme in the bedclothes had subsided and he was no longer concerned with finishing some 12-packs of beer and getting laid.

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