I am getting my Griswold on…again!
This is, to put it mildly, a surprising turn of events. A few weeks ago, I never would have dreamed I’d be hitting the road again this year. Especially for such a compellingly unexpected reason.
It’s all about a girl, you see.
A girl whom I have known for nearly nine years. We first “met” in January, 2003 – a lifetime ago for both of us. Ahh, the wonderful world of blogging! Over the years we became friends. We got to know each other intimately – sharing our deepest secrets, our darkest desires. You can’t know somebody for so long without developing attachments to that person…it’s just not possible! I care about her deeply, and she feels the same way about me. You know what’s really cool? I’ve known her mom for just as long! In fact, her mother (Tracy) was one of the first people to subscribe to my blog, and has been a longtime supporter of mine. She was the first one to finish reading my book, No Time For Kings – and gave it a very positive review on Amazon. I count both Tara and her mom as close friends, and that’s gotta be pretty rare.
I first met Tara in person this past March. She has family in the area, and was in town for a visit. We went out to lunch, spent the afternoon deep in conversation, and then parted ways. I wondered if I’d ever see her again. I certainly didn’t expect to…when we said goodbye, I thought, well, that was fun! and what a great friend she is and too bad we can’t hang out together more. That alone would make a perfectly satisfying ending to many stories. Turns out it wasn’t our end, though.
Because there’s more to the story. That great friendship of ours? It’s evolving into something more. How much more remains to be seen. I’m trying not to think too much about anything (“trying” being the operative word here) because it’s scary…but scary in a good way, if that makes sense. All I know is, right now I feel pretty damn good. It’s been awhile, and I’d like to hold onto this feeling. It’s rather intoxicating.
I have to admit, I never saw this coming. And I still don’t know what is coming. Everything feels new and fresh, despite the fact that we’ve been in touch with one another for close to a decade.
So I’m rolling the dice and taking a trip to Ely, Nevada. Ely, of all places! I never thought I’d find myself in such an isolated, rural portion of the country. During my road trip this summer, I covered fourteen states. Nevada will be the 15th I’ve visited this year. I think that’s pretty amazing. And what a reason to go!
I’ve been warned that I might not have cell phone service in Ely. I pretty much had coverage everywhere I went in June and July, except for the remotest portions of the least-traveled highways in the most isolated portions of the great plains. Computer access is certainly not a given, so don’t expect a play-by-play like you had earlier this summer. I’ll try my best, but it’s quite possible I may be completely removed from civilization for the next five days, a fact that is hard for this very plugged-in 21st-century person to imagine. And when I do come back, will I be wearing a cowboy hat and boots and a newfound outlook on life?
I have no idea. All I know is, I’ve never done anything like this before. Tomorrow morning I am leaving very early – before the sun even rises – to drive 700+ miles to rural Nevada in order to spend a few days with a girl whom I am very fond of, but one who has never been more than a friend to me…until now. This feels like something out of a movie – a really cool romantic comedy. It’s all a great big gamble. One misstep, and our entire friendship could be in jeopardy, even though we swear to each other that no matter what, that won’t happen. I sure hope not. Tara’s very special to me, and the risk of losing that tight-knit bond is almost too much to bear.
But, the idea of not seeing this through…of missing out on something that could possibly be wonderful and amazing…is even harder to bear. Life is short, and happiness is difficult to come by. Trust me, I know.
So, let’s do this thing. I am all in…and excited to see what happens next. And you know what? This just feels right. I am amazed and comforted by that…and excited as hell.
Nevada, here I come!