“Wow. Daylight,” Jill said. She sat down to think about purposefully going outside while the sun was shining.
“Maybe she’s right,” Mike said. “Night time might not be the right time to cross the Hudson River.”
“Right time or wrong, I’ve never figured out how you think we can cross this river. I suspect that the George Washington Bridge isn’t an option.”
“It’s not. We met one of my neighbors when we were taking out the garbage. He said that the bridge is impassible.”
“Well, Olympic swimmers we ain’t. And these animals sure as shit can’t swim it. So what is your plan?,” Moira pressed.
“We’ll sleep on it,” I said.
“You mean you don’t have any damned idea at all?”
“No, I do have an idea,” I said. I grabbed Moira’s arm and tugged her down the hallway to my bedroom. Mike and Jill followed. Bethel dashed ahead of us all and jumped onto my bed. Such as it was.
I’d moved so many times over the years that I’d abandoned most real furniture. Too hard to transport. The super of my building, horrified by my furniture-less state, had taken to giving me any good items he found on the curb, a situation that had resulted in me dragging seven mismatched kitchen chairs ten blocks one night so I could leave them for garbage pickup without hurting his feelings.
My bed had actually moved with me, a few times. My bed was portable. It was a queen sized air mattress that resided smack dab on the floor. Bethel had no trouble hopping up on it, although she wasn’t much of a jumper. She looked at us, wagging her little nubby tail. “Let’s sleep on it,” I said. “And then we’ll use it as a raft.”
Everyone stood there, staring in silence at my mattress/raft. “MORE MacGyver shit,” Moira finally spat.
“Yes. That’s why I wanted to keep the recycling, too. The plastic bottles can be life preservers.”
“You are so incredibly full of shit that I cannot even look at you,” Moira declared, as she left the bedroom.
Jill chased after her. “Moira, the little water bottles can be made into life preservers for the pets,” she called.
Mike looked at me. “We are really going to do this, aren’t we?”
“I don’t know what else to do, Mike.”
“Me either,” he said.
Cajoling and outright begging didn’t work, but we needed Moira to help us with life preserver production. She flatly refused, at first. She wouldn’t even look at the bottle and the caps and the things I was showing her. When Mike started wrapping twine around the bottles and looping the twine through the buttonholes of his shirt, Moira got up to show us how much smarter than the rest of us she was.
“Gaffer’s tape,” Moira held out her hand like she was a surgeon and I was her nurse.
“I might have one roll…”
“Bullshit. You have fifty rolls. You steal them every time a show closes. I’ve seen you put them in your bag,” she declared. And, she was right.
Gaffer’s tape is the theatre version of duct tape. It’s not shiny silver, it’s black matte. It sticks to anything, particularly itself. We used it for everything. We bound up coils of cable with it. We repaired props with it. We wrapped it around our shoes when the soles were falling off. I couldn’t resist stealing it whenever a show was closing because someone else was going to steal it if I didn’t.
I went to my hall closet and pulled out a large cardboard carton of gaffer’s tape. “Wow, you have stolen so much tape!,” Jill enthused.
“Thank you,” Moira said. “I’ll also need garbage bags and a jacket of some type for each of us. I assume the little dog has something the cat can use.”
“Bethel has an extensive wardrobe,” I said. “We’ll need something for the kid, too.”
“The kid,” Moira said. “WHAT KID?”
“Ali’s kid. My neighbor. He asked us to take her. Mike, do you want to start pulling slats off the futon frame? We can use a couple of them as oars, if we whittle some handles into them.”
“You are absolutely insane, aren’t you? We can’t risk some kid’s life,” Moira said.
“Sure we can,” I said. “There isn’t a soul on this island right now who has anything left to lose.”