As we disentangled a bit of Romney fleece from Laura's tote bag, she looked over at the
Jim and Franklin exchanged uneasy glances.
"Absolutely not," I said firmly, carefully closing the liftback so it made a minimum of thunk.
"But Carol," the kind-hearted Laura protested weakly, "you have those child locks on the door so you can't open the doors from the inside--"
"Never mind, Laura," I broke in. I grabbed her hand and tugged. "C'mon, I'm starving."
Laura looked a bit dismayed, shooting a few baleful looks at the sleeping hulk in the back of my car, but Franklin was already putting his keycard in the slot to open the hotel door. (I thought I heard him mutter something along the lines of "I'd love to see Tom's face when he sees what Dolores does to the car" but maybe I misheard. Franklin doesn't have a vicious bone in his body.) Clearly, he wasn't going to wake her, so following his lead, I marched Laura toward the warmth and light of the hotel.
After a quick bite, we adjourned to our rooms. Laura still looked a bit troubled.
"Are you sure we should have left Dolores in the car?" she said, a note of skepticism in her voice. "It's kind of cold out there."
"She needs her beauty sleep," I told her, "just like, um, Norma Desmond before her big role in Sunset Boulevard, you know?"
"There are some parallels between the Gloria Swanson role and Dolores," Jim mused. "The faded scent of glory, the disproportionate sense of one's own importance, the young and talented writer who gets unwittingly sucked into her twisted orbit..."
Laura wasn't entirely convinced, despite Jim's insightful theories about the glory days of Hollywood cinema. "I still think she might be mad."
At this point, I thrust my copy of Guys With Yarn at her:
and Laura was quiet for a good long time.
At around four in the morning, there was a huge commotion down in the pool area. I heard the sound of breaking glass, muttered cursing and then a huge splash.
"What's going on?" Jim mumbled.
"You're dreaming, honey," I said in my best Mom voice, and pulled the drapes shut a little tighter. After double-checking that both security locks on the door were securely on, I drifted back to sleep, full of fibery dreams for the day ahead.
To be continued...