“No,” I finally responded softly, wanting to offer an apologetic tone. “I wasn’t joking, but I don’t think that my suggestion would really have done anything to improve the sunset. You were right. It was spectacular all on its own.”
I expected he would remain silent, offering me the chance to think out loud a bit, so I took advantage of his usual delay.
“Truthfully, though, I would have liked to have been able to stop the earth’s rotation for a while. That would have been a better option. Life seems to be going too fast, and I wish I could slow it down. I hoped moving to Wyoming would allow me to change my pace of life, and while it has to some extent, I look at the wonderful scenery I have enjoyed in the past day – the view down by the creek, the sunset, this starry night – and I realize that I still need more of this, and tomorrow this weekend will have passed too quickly.”
In a moment of absolute truthfulness, the chance to have sex with the Lumberjack vanished, but at least I made the right choice. He still didn’t respond, so I decided to reflect upon my day, observe the vastness of the stars above me, think fondly of my grandfather, and plan to make the most of my last day on this camping adventure. I felt at peace with my answer, and that was enough for me.
I expected we’d remain silent the rest of the night. For me, exhaustion began to overtake my curiosity about the Lumberjack and I grew more tired as the questions got more difficult. That last one kicked my butt. For him, I couldn’t imagine after chopping all that firewood he was still awake at this point, or what he must be thinking of me now. I felt dumb and foolish and awkward, exhibiting all of my worst characteristics all wrapped up in pink cam-moose-flage pajamas. But at least the stars were overwhelming in their quantity and their illumination. They never disappointed and I reminded myself that experiencing nature this spectacular was part of my original desire for this weekend, too.
“Are you still thinking about your grandfather?” he whispered.
“Yes,” which wasn’t entirely untrue. “Are you still thinking about your Mom?”
“Good night.” I whispered across the tent.
“Good night. And for the record, my favorite movie is The Best Years of Our Lives.” In a million years, who would have guessed? He rolled over with his back to me, and I did the same. I wanted to listen to his breathing as he drifted off, but I fell asleep almost as soon as I rolled over. I hope I didn’t snore. I’d done enough to make an ass of myself.
NEXT: Ghost Stories – Part 43