There was not enough time for a nap after his nap. The dinner hour was upon them. Half an hour away. Jon removed his wrinkled trousers and replaced them with a sharply pressed pair. Changed his shirt, combed his hair, rubbed his chin to see if he might need to touch up his shaving. He pressed down on the plunger on his hand soap dispenser to be rewarded with only a bubble from the liquid soap. Empty. He remembered now. Washed his hands anyway, with the bubble. Sudden pounding on his bathroom door startled Jon. He gasped, dropped his hand towel in the toilet and once composed yelled, “What?”
“Come on old man, it’s dinner time.” It was Karl.
“Come on, I’ll walk with you there.”
“I’m not a bloody cripple. I don’t need you to walk with me.”
“Don’t whine, I’m here to help.”
“I can walk by myself.”
“I’m just here to help you get up off your ass when you fall down.”
“Probably stab me to death,” Jon mumbled as he opened his bathroom door. “I’m not afraid of you.”
They made their way together down the long hallway to the dining hall. Karl offered his arm to Jon. It was slapped away. Karl offered to take Jon’s arm; Jon jerked it away.
Jon’s table by the window already had a pair of diners seated. Rudy Wernbacher and Oddur Gunnerson. Jon stopped to take in the sight of the two of them, talking together as friends might talk.
“Good,” Karl said. “A full table of friends. Just the way it should be.”
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