Love Lost in Maine

ImageStepping into the sacred space was like a portal back in time.  No one specific time.  More of a plane open and safe for all ages to comingle at once.

The mist in the air grew thicker as I stepped through this old graveyard.  The grass wet around my tenni-shoes.  Searching for old Colonial names linked to my own family.

As the search continued, my clothes became more soaked with moisture.  The weather progressed to a full drizzle of rain.  Nothing on my person was safe from the wet.  Even my camera clasped in my hand inside my jacket pocket had small droplets smeared away as much as possible.

I had met such a lovely man today.  One in the flesh.  Intelligent and sweet.  We learned a lot about each other in a very short period of time.  His girlfriend had died of cancer.  Young.

He was working.  Captain of a small foot ferry.  Between stops on the route, I was the only passenger on board.  He gave his deck hand a turn at the wheel while he took a chance at visiting with me.  I’m glad he did.

The rain is now dripping from my hair.  Dripping off the end of my nose.  I push on.

Putting myself in the shoes of both the deceased and their loved ones left behind.  The poetry inscribed upon stones.  Some of these are from an era so long gone that any mourning survivors have surely also passed on.  Was there a joyous reunion?  Or were there still matters to be settled?  Why is it so much easier for me to make connections and establish relationships with the Dead rather than the Living?

That dearheart of a man is only a couple of blocks away from here.  He’s on the dock in the harbour.  Waiting for his next scheduled run across the saltwater.  He thinks I’m long gone down the road to a more urban locale.  He has no idea that I’m just up the hill behind the thick swath of evergreens.

Does he know?  On some level?  That I am still so close by on this damp summer day on the mid-coast of rugged Maine?  Is there something tugging at him to come after me?

This narrow cemetery seems to stretch on and on in length.  Just when I think I’m nearing the edge, I see another section peeking out of the trees around the bend.  I can’t get any wetter.  I push on.

He said he has trouble finding a girl with his same interests.  He described a simple life.  Building boats out of milk cartons.  It sounded nice.  He expressed an interest in travel.  Says he wants to see the coast in Washington and Oregon.  Says he might be out this Fall.  So he has my number.

His eyes told me not to go.  I offered we could go to lunch right then if he had some free time.  He said “sure”, but shuffled his feet and never suggested a place.  I offered we could go warm up over some coffee.  His eyes danced and sparkled, but his mouth did not cooperate.  He still did not take the next step in the dance to move us across the dance floor.

So here I wander through the varying slabs of rock.  Doing a slow dance alone.  Finding company in the shadows of souls that once were.  Spinning thoughts and hopes in my mind.

He asked where I was headed next on my journey.  Westbrook.  Yes, near Portland.  He said it’s a nice area.  I’ve never been, but there are more pieces of myself scattered there.  I have to go see.

He says he wishes he could come with me.  I wish he would, too.  Yes, we just met.  Yes, he has to work another run this afternoon.  So instead I try for a smooth and sexy exit.  Hoping he calls.

My phone is charging in the car – and staying dry.  At the end of each section of the cemetery, I go back across the street to pull my car up further down the path.  Checking my phone for missed calls or texts from an unrecognised number.  Preferably with a Maine area code.

The call never comes.

I reach the end of the cemetery.  Giving up on hope, or so I tell myself, retracing my steps back across the narrow unlined road.  Effectively a one-lane road that is carefully used as a two-way street.  My car only fits halfway onto the hint of a shoulder.  Cars pass by me now.  Probably looking curiously at the drowned rat walking upright.

Turn on the truck.  Turn the heater and vents all the way up.  Hang my jacket backwards on the passenger seat to dry.  Driving away, there is a sign for Webb’s Cove.  Pull over and take another picture in the rain.  I have to keep going, though.  Will just have to come back this way another time.

This is only my first time through here; not my last.

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