Past Interlude #6
San Diego, California - 2001



With a click and a hushed creak, Adam unlocked the door.

"Hello, house!" he shouted, not really expecting a reply. It was a habit from back in the day when there were so many people coming and going that greeting each one was too much for a kindergartener. The house hadn't been full in years.

Dad's usual green post-it note decorated the fridge. "Roast beef sandwiches, second shelf," said the note in his latest girlfriend's handwriting. She was a great cook though, so Adam liked her a lot.

Adam took the plate of sandwiches out. Real roast beef! Carved meat and everything! It even came with dipping sauce. He hoped this one would last at least a year; he could live forever on this kind of food.

"Don't forget to clear the dishwasher," another green post-it said. It lay right on the counter where Adam was about to set his plate. He ignored it as he'd done for past two days.

With the bowl of dipping sauce precariously balanced on a full plate and a backpack slung over his shoulder, Adam made his way to the computer desk. Alex's orange post-it trailed from the middle of the television screen, across the entertainment area, and on the wall above the desk.

"I'm going to be in Tahoe on Thursday."

"Don't forget to feed the fish."

"Call Scott or Dad by 9 PM every night so they'll stop bugging me."

"If Donna calls, I'm in Atlanta."

"Get all this racing crap off the desk. Other people use the computer, too."

That last note was right beside another one of Dad's that said, "I'll try to call you before dinner time." Adam piled all of Alex's notes into a stack of like colours. So far, he used up the most post-its, with Dad coming in second, Scott in third, and Remy trailing. But then, Remy preferred to use a nifty new invention called a telephone.

The words "Fast & Furious" twisted and bounced around on an otherwise black computer screen. With a click of a mouse, Adam's wallpaper popped up: Vin Diesel leaning against the RX-7 his character drove in the movie "Fast and the Furious." Over the desk, a dozen or so printed pictures of modded, racing, and stock cars bordered what was supposed to be an information bulletin board. Car magazines stood in their individual boxes, organized alphabetically according to type, title then issue. Sketchpads leaned against the magazine boxes, their pages bulging with more photographs as well as sketches and cut-outs. To say that Adam was obsessed was a severe understatement.

Adam slid his plate to the left, away from a stack of faxes. Two notes lay on top of his latest drawing. Again, the writing belonged to Dad's girlfriend but it was written on Scott's yellow post-it. "Worry about the engine first then the detailing. That kit might actually slow you down."

Predictably, Remy's blue note had a near-opposite comment. "Like the spoiler, ditch the flames. Everyone has flames. If you look good, people won't mess with you."

Scott had another note under Remy's. "Do you homework before you fix this."

He didn't know why he bothered to ask their opinions. With their long-distance quarrelling, it wasn't like they helped him decide anything.

The bare scan of a Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX popped up on the screen. Fifty minutes disappeared as Adam lost himself in planning his latest project. He kept his cell phone on the desk just in case anyone called. The house stayed as silent as when he first entered.

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