Later that night, on the second floor of a motel that accepts anyone with a valid credit card or cash, in a room sandwiched between the ice machine and elevator, Vinnie’s mom stares out the window looking for the promised spectacular view of the San Francisco Peaks.
“I don’t see the mountains? All I see are railroad tracks and railroad cars. Didn’t the desk clerk promise us a view of the mountains?” asks Vinnie’s mom.
Vinnie’s dad is lying on the bed, propped against a pillow surfing the channels on the TV. He says, “You say something, Dear? Someone must be filling their cooler from the ice machine. It’s making a racket.”
“Is this the best available room?”
“It was the one with the view,” says Vinnie’s dad. “I thought it would make you happy.”
“I’m looking into a freight yard. Is this what you call a view?”
“It’s the best they had. It took a lot of negotiating to get the view,” answers Vinnie’s dad.
“What was the other alternative?”
“A room with a single queen bed and window airconditioner.”
What is that smell? I feel like gagging,” says Vinnie’s mom stepping back from the window, placing her hand over his face, and sitting on the edge of Vinnie’s bed.
Vinnie, Rupert, and Dexter get off the bed and go to the window. Vinnie looks out the window. Dexter sniffs for food. Vinnie says, “Yuck, I smell it too, Mom. I know what it is.”
“What is it, Vinnie?” asks Vinnie’s mom.
“There’s a truck filled with hogs parked under our window. Can I go down and pat them? Please, Mom. I never patted a hog before,” says Vinnie.
“No, Vincent, you cannot pat the hogs.”
“Can Dexter and me go to the lobby? They have snack machines down there. Can I have five dollars? I can look for souvenirs to remember our trip, ” says Vinnie.
“No, Vincent, you cannot go the lobby. You’re tired. Try to go to sleep,” says Vinnie’s mom.
“I’m not tired, Mom. I had so much fun today. It was the best day ever,” says Vinnie.
“Did you ride in the same SUV as me?” asks Vinnie’s mom half seriously.
“I did, Mom. You were sitting in front of Rupert most of the time. The only time you weren’t sitting in front of Rupert was when Rupert was on my lap. Then Dad was sitting in front of Rupert. I think Dexter has to go the bathroom, Mom,” says Vinnie.
“You’re just saying that, Vinnie,” says Vinnie’s mom.
“No, Mom. Honest. He’s sniffing around your running shoes,” says Vinnie.
“Dear, take Vinnie and Dexter, now. He better not do anything on my shoes. Take your time. I’m going to try to take a shower if they have any hot water,” says Vinnie’s mom.
“This is great, Dad. If I take Rupert, it will be all the boys. We can talk about guy stuff that Mom will never understand,” says Vinnie.
From the bathroom, “I understand guy stuff all too well,” says Vinnie’s mom.