I stood up swiftly, noticing a twinge of light-headedness. A drink of water might help, but I didn’t have a container, so I went back to the truck to get my leftover bottle from yesterday’s drive. It would be difficult to pour into the bottle from the heavy jug, but even if I could get it half full, that would suffice. The Lumberjack continued to stand at the driver’s door, so I went around to the other side, tugging once on the locked door handle until he noticed my never-ending stream of awkwardness and popped the lock from his door. My bag of apples was immediately in front of me, so I grabbed one of those, too, and the bottle of water in the door. I realized I still never greeted him as I started my morning.
“Good morning,” I tried to sound chipper, but not too goofy. I think I pulled it off.
He pulled his hands out of the bag on his side and pulled out two pieces of fruit. He reached out towards me with one in each hand. I was to choose between an orange and a banana. I preferred the latter, but knowing we would be out tonight, and the mosquito connection, I took the orange.
“Thanks.” I kept the apple, too, and now held three objects and decided to return to our little campfire nook to set them down, regroup, and refill the water bottle. I started to pick them all up, and then close the door casually with my backside. I wish I had, at any point in my life, been more graceful. Now I spent every moment of my morning fearing the worst. Nonetheless, I closed the door and didn’t drop anything and mostly just felt awkward anyway. As the door latched, I heard him ask me something, but I didn’t catch what he said, so I walked around to his side of the truck.
“Would you like another bottle of water?”
He reached in the back of the truck and started to hand it to me when he realized I did not have a free hand.
“I’ve got it.” He put the banana in his shirt pocket, held a small container of something in one hand and two bottles of water in his other hand. Big hands can do things like that. At least I wouldn’t have to fumble with the water jug. We headed towards the fire ring where I sat down to begin my breakfast.
He did join me at the campfire ring but chose to stand next to me, exceptionally tall, but conveniently blocking the sunlight that finally reached our camp.
“Ready to go?”
We were going somewhere?
“Um, almost.” Okay, if we were going somewhere I would need a way to carry all this stuff. I wound up going back to the tent and grabbing my backpack despite my best efforts to be prepared. I unzipped the tent, repositioned the toilet paper, and dropped the new bottle inside, as well as the apple, and elected to start eating the orange. Since he already closed up the truck, I imagined this was a walk so I could peel and eat as I go. I zipped the tent, again, and loaded the gear on my back with the leftover bottle in my hand, thinking I could tuck it under my arm to free both hands for peeling if necessary.
“Is it okay if I leave my purse in my tent?”
“The raccoons shouldn’t be able to get to it there.”
Raccoons? It occurred to me after a moment that he was enjoying a chuckle at my expense even though he wasn’t actually laughing. Okay, I needed to stop being a city girl. I never thought I was one, but it seemed to be a glaring fault now. Maybe I was just more aware of my shortcomings around him, and I didn’t particularly care for the way it made me feel. I don’t think it was his doing, just my own self-consciousness, but I still felt like I wasn’t entirely myself.
“Yes, I’m ready.” He picked up the tackle box, into which he placed the container he carried from the truck, with one hand and the pole in the other. He headed down a path, presumably towards the creek. I wondered why he didn’t bring a fishing pole for me, but I would find a way to be useful. Immediately I regretted that I failed to pack my sketch book in my tote.