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Day Seven – Resonance

August 16, 2009

Today is halfway.

Sunny and hot for the first time since I arrived, I packed my satchel with supplies: blanket, water, pens, paper, sunglasses, notes written on scraps and napkins. Put on my swimsuit beneath my clothes. Set off for the beach, figuring I would, like always, be alone there and would sit, swim, write.

Instead, I meet a woman who is also living at the lodge, I’ve seen her around, she has a fantastic smile. She has packed a similar stock of things and (like me) is clearly looking for an excuse to avoid work. We lay our beach blankets side by side and while the sun peaks overhead, we talk about this, talk about that, talk about how we’re ok with not working today, because man, sometimes a lady needs to think.

So, we sun and sun and sun, and when we get too warm, we wade into the lake, cooling off to the waist and ladling splashes of water over our shoulders, down our chests. Then, we sprawl out on our blankets, letting the water droplets evaporate into scalding, scorching sunburns. First, her friend telephones and then mine, and after struggling to extract our cellphones from our beach bags and make evening plans, we part ways, rooming as we are in opposite wings of the lodge. Hours later, we run into one another, Shelby and her friend, me and mine, the pair of us glowing through the twilight with brilliant red “tans”.

Backtrack to the beach and her phone call, though. I stared across the lake while she spoke to her friend, arranging ferry times and meeting spots and picnic menus and wine brands. Suddenly, “Wait wait wait!” she said, then told her friend how she was sitting right now, with me, a new friend, sunning on the beach, and that I seem super-great. Then, shyly, she paused, put a hand over the mouthpiece and asked, “You don’t think it’s too early to call you a friend, do you? Sorry if that seemed too fast.”

In that moment, I was utterly charmed. Because, of course, that’s the sort of thing I do over and over again, and for which I feel like a bit of a dork–get all excited about something, then have to pause and assess, put a lid on my outburts and eager declarations. And till now, I’ve never met another person who does it, too. A funny resonance, along with a handful of other details that sent the pair of us through time, careening through the past six months on nearly identical paths, to land on that beach, burnt to a crisp that afternoon.

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