Walking Home

So, what do you do in your little Canadian town?

I ask this staring straight ahead and not at her, not at her where I would see lips that rest playfully with a smile on either side, and not at her where I would be greeted by hazel eyes starring back into mine with a gaze that is simultaneously confusing and comforting. No, not at her when I ask this question but at the brown shingled rooftop in front of me and the sunset orange mountains beyond its peak.

There is a fire behind me, nothing too big or too warm for that matter. It’s warmth is just enough for this mid summers evening in the far northwestern town of Bellingham. To my left and on a raised wooden porch a large group gathers around two tables pushed together sharing quiet stories and pleasantries while I wait for her reply.

She turns her head, slightly, in my direction and says, “I walk around a lot. Yeah, I mostly just like to walk around town.”

I know she is smiling when she says this, I can hear it in her voice. And then Daniel comes over and he needs to stoke the fire and we need to move so we do and then I sit back down and she doesn’t and the night moves on and so do I and then the moment is gone and so is my courage and so I too leave in a fashionable manner, with my head full of doubts and romantic “what if” scenarios as I walk down the street and back toward the house I am staying in.

It all sounds sad, doesn’t it? I mean this is my life and I sometimes think it sad but not really all that often. I think it maddening, terrifying, depressing, ambiguous, horrid and wonderful but not really sad.

I can sit very still on this wooden porch and hear bells ringing in the distance across the waters of the bay. But how sad can ones life be with this kind of thing leading them into the quickly gathering twilight?


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