Friday, June 6, 2008
BREWSTER, N.Y. – June 5 -- I knew it wasn't a good thing when the Taylor family’s cat jumped onto the nightstand, but I didn't have enough time to react as it knocked over everything in its path. It took over a half hour to collect the debris that scattered all over the floor of the bedroom that Rue had assigned me. But after the disaster that I have kept secret until now, it was quite peaceful spending the first night in over two weeks without Brian lying at my side.
The night before was a far cry from a comfortable sleeping situation as the setting sun forced us to get crafty when deciding where to place our tent in an empty lot of woods in New Milford. It was a nice town where multiple movies, including Mr. Deeds with Adam Sandler, have been filmed, but we seemed to have found the worst part of the city to call home for the evening. Many mysterious sounds made for the worst night of rest on the trip yet. So 24 hours later, I found myself overjoyed to have my mind at ease in my own bed. A wedding dress dangling in the corner of the room reminded me of my sister’s wedding as I relaxed while reading a book that had only been extra weight in our bag until then.
‘I hope they let us in,’ I joked to Brian when we went to enter the Bank Street coffee shop looking fairly homeless with our scruffy faces, tired eyes, and belongings on our backs.
We were inside for only a short while when Rue, the owner, had gotten word of our cross-country hike. I presume she was told by the two cute college-aged girls working behind the counter I had attempted to flirt with. Being from Minnesota, Rue felt it was her duty to treat the two Iowa boys to the ‘Jeffrey Special’ – her son’s favorite, which consisted of three eggs, bacon, ham, and a big piece of sausage all crammed in a croissant. Brian barely chewed as he nearly swallowed the delicious sandwich whole.
Rue made frequent appearances at our table that morning and informed us she had called her husband Mike to see if we could lend their family a hand in any way for the day. Consequently, I found myself chopping down a tree in the Taylor’s backyard a couple hours later.
‘I think you mean Paul Bunyan, not Paul Revere, dude,’ Brian explained to me after I tried to reference the mythological lumberjack as I swung an axe at our tree. Although it wasn’t enormous in size, I felt uniquely strong as I glared at the defeated limbs lying at my feet. Mike and Rue took us in for the night. Both of their grown children have moved away, yet they found themselves with a pair of kids for a day. We pet their trio of anxious dogs, one of which continued to sneak up and lick our dirty socks, as we relaxed on the couch while watching Obama reach the necessary delegate count to be his party's nominee. Mike joked that even though we were Democrats, we could still stay in his home.
When I dozed off to sleep later that evening, I took full advantage of Brian’s absence as I sprawled my body across the giant bed.