I love my phone. When I feel lost, overwhelmed, or generally mildly freaking out–like I’m doing quietly on the inside right now–I pull out my phone and get lost browsing the web. I move into a world where everything’s contained, and suddenly, my worries about landing here, in this tiny cabin at the edge of a cemetery at the edge of town, with little money, no marketable skills, and nobody I know, disappear. I’ve got the same Internet, the same websites, I did back home. Hey look! Trip updated her blog!
There’s a beautiful world all around you.
I think I have an Internet addiction.
Says here there’s an arboretum in town, with some of the sweetest smelling baby’s breath you can find. I love the smell of flowers.
Maybe I’ll ride over there.
It really is a beautiful town. Smells like pine and mist!
I explore the arboretum where calendula, foxgloves, and forget-me-nots are blooming. And baby’s breath, too.
The park was empty when I arrived, but when I finish touring the arboretum, it’s packed.
“Hi, I’m Cathy.” I introduce myself to a skinny guy with a cute beard. In fact, the beard isn’t the only thing cute about him.
“Chauncey Grimm,” he says. “Enchanted to meet you, Cathy.”
He talks like he walked out of a book. I like him.
“I know this is terribly corny,” I say. “But, can I ask? What’s your sign?” I cringe at the cliche of it.
But he doesn’t seem to mind.
“I’m a Cancer,” he says. He’s smiling and looking right into my eyes. Oh, man. I’m a Cancer, too.
Gosh, he’s sweet.
“I knew you were a Cancer,” I say. Am I flirting? No. Ok, maybe. Yeah. A little bit.
“Don’t go anywhere,” he says. “Promise?”
I promise. While he’s gone, I resist the urge to pull out my phone. Instead, I listen to the wind chimes playing in the arboretum.
Soon he’s back with a bouquet of flowers.
I thank him for the flowers, feeling as sweet as a purple plum, and we start talking.
“Do you ever feel wild?” he asks. “Like more like a monster than human?”
“I felt like a total zombie this morning,” I answer. “A cup of coffee and a little time browsing the web brought me back to humanity, though.”
He chuckles. I like his laugh.
“What did you have for breakfast?” he asks. Somehow, I don’t mind small talk with him.
“I had my fav. PB and J. How about you?”
“I love burgers,” he says. “I’d eat them every day if I could, but I hardly ever have them. I seem to be living on salad and green tea.”
“Why don’t you eat what you like?”
“Oh, you know. Health food regime.”
I’m about to say that part of eating healthy can also be eating what you love when he tells me once again not to disappear.
He comes back with a bouquet of yellow flowers. It’s silly. But it’s also so sweet I can hardly stand it. And they smell so heavenly!
It’s nearly dark by now. He has to go. I have to go. We exchange phone numbers.
“I really want to see you again,” he says. I want to see him, too.
Riding back, I pedal to the rhythm of his name: Chauncey Grimm. Chauncey Grimm.
Easy does it.
The world around me looks beautiful and magical. My first day here, and I think I’m falling in love.