Tuesday, August 10, 2010

#140 – TRUST?

A certain calm seemed to have descended as we drove back from the White Mountains to Lake Chaplain. I kept my side’s window open so that I could smell the pine. Through the night Gillian was asleep on the seat beside me. I thought of a John Updike story I had read that almost countered the careful literary fakery in his very safe writing, his New Yorker writing that started when he was a good boy writer in college and never stopped.

But there was this one story that seemed real, a person like Updike as a teenager driving in some suburb and the girl he is with falls asleep. A turning point for him, that someone could trust him this much. And what might have happened if he had let this scene in the car unfold in a non-constructed way into other scenes and other times. Something like right now on the road back to Vermont.

She slept until we had turned off on the road to the lake. She awoke in time to sleepily greet our cows, who always seemed be waiting for us. And then we were in the area of Waspy people’s lake houses. Back at our own borrowed lake house, we were too weary for conversion, too close to each other to have to force conversation when none same. Too friendly for me to question right now our using separate little rooms.

And the next day we did not travel much. We went down to the cove to feel the water. We followed the supposed Indian trail between these lake houses. We had the Fielding guide to trees in hand. The occasional neighbors we saw were unintentionally comically stereotypical, looking much like the dowdy models in the L. L. Bean catalogue.

I felt free of like the Sugar Hill/Franconia part of the White Mountains – free of a dark and fearful world where the most awful things could happen. Really not my world, even if it seemed to hover over me some of the time.

The pretty girl and I drove a bit, but just to look out over Lake Champlain from different vantage points. We had lunch at the diner in Burlington where we had gone for French toast. We came back to the lake house. We had dinner of hot roast beef sandwiches, mashed potatoes and apple pie a la mode at the counter restaurant in Vergennes. Then back to the lake house again.

Greeting and being greeted again by the cows at the fence on the dirt road cutting over to the lake.

At the house I go to start up the big old gas heater, and the gas meets my match flame with a small explosion. And we say this looks like our first really early night. And we go upstairs, and this time I follow her into her room. And she says, “What took you so long?”

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