Wednesday, November 6, 2013

what went wrong?

Photo via: Reader Submission

Supposed to have a snowstorm later tonight, but right now? It's 75 degrees.
I'm sitting next to a fire, drunk on wine and this air and altitude.
Full on Velveeta shells and happy in sweatpants and my Auntie Nor's rubber boots.
Hiked 15 miles today. Washed our dishes in Irish spring soap and metal-pump water.
Rinsed them out over the campground toilet so that bears would not smell the food.
Cranberry snus and a big warm scarf. Feeling the cold creeping in.
We have nighttime good-honest drunk talking here. James looks rugged.
He laid down in the icy glacier creek water to "bathe", made me laugh.
Thoughts of calling Mom in town tomorrow, but I'll be here now.
Sleeping in the back of the warm Suburban in the heart of the forests

Stuck at a Mountain road stop. Talked with 'Swetch'.
He lives in Cooke city Montana in a camper and works on the road until winter.
No girlfriend. Just a motorcycle and his thoughts...

Happy people are everywhere. Weathered faces, dusty and great.
James is writing a letter to his dad right now. Hi...
Jim died of a tumor in his brain this past January.
I loved him best out of the whole Bleuer family. He was the most genuine soul.
Maybe because he wasn't afraid of anything..
Called me the "salt of the earth' when I drank my coffee black at his house and
ate my pizza without a plate.

We're here. There are kids camping in a trailer next to us, cooking s'mores. Life's alright.
I'm dirty, (weird with my period) but somehow, ok.
My shin-splinted leg hurts a little, but it's getting stronger.
Listened to Phish and flew by the ancient buffalo.

Another storm today. I'm lying in our car "bed", warming up with a red plastic cup of cheap wine.
Hiked Mammoth Springs earlier , then took a delicious $3.50 shower at a local hotel.
Now back at the site, with plenty of firewood and food.
More talks about family, and ourselves. So many new stories.

A few great people are camped next to us. Ken, Tracy, Dan and brother on a fly-fishing journey to Boise. They're drinking Fresca with Absolut and laughing while attempting tent set-up. I think they've forgotten some vital poles.
Ken shambled over to our fire earlier to shoot the shit and escape his family for awhile, I think.

I'm remembering why he stole my heart in the first place.
Not for all of the credentials he could list you. (Dartmouth cum Laude alum, Wall street-whiz, car builder, Man's man, etc.) Something else.
Something he's had since he was 17 and rough, and vulnerable, and wide-eyed- infatuated with
all of that Minnesota spirit I had in my worry-free, tanned 16 yr-old body.
He blasted into my thin masquerade like a train in his old

I am in love with a life that hangs on hope and what happens next and what's big and beautiful and soft and humming acoustic soul out of a warm voice or soft chill night with a good sky and a good tan and no roof. I miss you and love him. I love me but I miss her. Thank you for it all, though God.

I'm remembering climbing a hill on a trail (Twin Trails?) I cannot remember anything except a stomach ache and the last hike-day. James was in his day with his thoughts and his mission: a Ziploc bag with a letter and faded Dartmouth cap to bury for his dad, climbing faster (searching for "the spot"), and me trailing "taking pictures". God I am sore in my throat from holding tears. I'm sorry Jim.


James and I have not talked in 5 months. I saw pictures of him camping in Connecticut, new camper, in shape, smiling. Hurts my stomach so much. He showed his hate and frustration by sleeping with a string of girls in Manhattan. Now he’s moved back to the girl he loved in high school. Anger fills my head and body.

If, in this one life, quantum physics is irrelevant, and I must move ever forward, not ever in reverse or in nostalgia, then I am going to make a pretty love with someone new as long as my heart leads.

A sip of my black coffee jolts me back to Yellowstone last year, and a slushy drive throughout the Teton Mountains while Bob Dylan's "she belongs to me" album plays in the suburban. Today I felt anger, while blow drying my hair before work. Thinking about my guilt, and that I am mad at his anger piled on top of me. Somehow there has to be a balance of blame, or guilt, or just the heavy burden of emotion for what happened. and what was that?

I fell in love with someone more mature than me (we both thought). With my manipulative girl powers I morphed into his ideals, discarding all that was "me". What was left, he adored. LOVED me to his core. I loved this so much that I believed we could be soulmates, even though my soul was in hiding (or at least the dark, but honest parts). What went wrong? Maybe nothing. Maybe it was my hesitation to let any real love move past the first impression of his dream girl. I was so terrified of his disappointment. We grew up.

"We tried the goodbye for so many days, we walked in the same direction so that we could never stray" - Ben Harper

Ford F 250, smelling like car grease and salty Fairfield summer. Oh man.
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