Squeaking swings and tall grass
The longest shadows ever cast
The water’s warm and children swim
And we frolicked about in our summer skin
I sat in the seven hour car ride today thinking of how to write everything that I wanted to write, whether I should censor the things I wanted to say, and if it would sound contrived if I wrote things the way that they happened over the past week. In my head, everything feels like it was out of a movie. Even he said that to me on our last night together up at the cabin.
He? Yes, he. I should probably start from the beginning.
My brother and I drove up to the cabin together on Saturday for what must have been one of the most miserable drives of my life. It felt like we were constantly stuck in traffic, and neither one of us was truly excited for a week at the cabin fully expecting to go cabin-fever crazy a la Jack Nicholson in The Shining. We pulled up and trudged over towards the cabin when I hear a “Hey ya’ll!” coming from the cabin next door. And I groaned.
A guy with dark brown hair was walking towards us to say hi, introduced himself and then started talking. I wasn’t so sure if he was just being “Southern polite” or if he was flirting, but his family was going to be in the cabin beside ours for the next week. He was terribly nice, and I’m not really sure why I was so annoyed in the beginning. I think it was partly because I was used to my routine at the cabin- having coffee in the morning and at sunset on the dock- and was somewhat thrown off when he joined me that first night for coffee on the dock. And then the next morning. And then the next night as well, where we sat in the two Adirondack chairs and watched the meteorite shower. By then we’d formed our own new routine, and I was finally catching on to the fact that he was interested in me.
By Sunday we were seeing each other during the day too, swimming in the lake together and complaining about how cold it was getting in, then how cold it was getting out. We went hiking to the top of the tallest mountain in the area, then scrambled up the fire tower on top of it to see all of the surrounding lakes. We played football in the lake and swam with his nieces and nephews.
We fell into a routine, and spent our nights together talking. Tanner was older than me, had been an undergrad Psychology student at University of North Carolina (note that I’m a Duke fan). He decided on a whim to become a masseuse, wants to open his own practice. He was there with his parents, brother and sister and their spouses and children. The children, I fell in love with them. We huddled around campfires in the evenings listening to the children sing camping songs and put on skits (I admittedly was in several of those skits, prepare for my Broadway debut).
As the week surged on, Tanner and I spent every night out on the dock watching the stars and the fog, listening to the loons and the coyotes. We’d wrap ourselves in my blanket, which he always told me smelled of my skin. One night, he stopped mid-conversation to say “Did ya hear that?” I hadn’t, but looked up to see a bear walking along the shoreline, not twenty feet from where we were on the dock. I clung to his arm as we watched the bear sniff about.
And then there was last night, our last night together on the dock. The weather brought a strange layer to everything, threatening to rain with thick clouds overhead. The fog would roll in and envelope us, and then roll out to leave the lake absolutely clean. And then it would roll in again, making even the shoreline impossible to see. When it started to rain, we tried to run to the cabins, but made it only as far as the garden shed. It was large inside, warm, and smelled lightly of gasoline from the lawn mower against the back wall. The lightening was flashing outside the windows, the thunder cracking loudly over the lake, and then we were kissing. The rain was pelting the windows, and we’re on my blanket on the floor of the shed.
It was everything that script writers and authors try to create when they write scenes like that. Even the best of those writers couldn’t create the chemistry that happened between Tanner and I. I felt dizzy afterwards, whether from giddiness and happiness or from the gasoline I’m not sure. We laid there afterwards, watching the rain pass along the windows and trying to come to some understanding of what had happened.
He kissed me outside the door to my cabin later that evening, wrapping me in his arms and saying “I never want to forget your smell, Caity-May”, the name he’d taken to calling me in that thick Southern accent.
This morning everything was still there when I said goodbye to his family. And for those seven hours back home I’ve been replaying everything in my head, trying to decide what to do from here. He said he wants to keep in contact, wants me to call, wants to write letters. But how possible is something like that?