Check In: 14 Weeks of New Faces
I had a guest visiting this past week. An old friend from high school, whom I fondly call Phatty (you may remember her from the Jamaica post).
The day before she arrives I’m waiting in front of my laptop, compulsively clicking the refresh button in my inbox. I’m favoring the computer over the phone because there’s no cell phone reception here, so she won’t be able to call when she arrives. Or when she’s close. Or when she’s stuck behind a trailer on Route 1, a 2-lane highway, and it’s going to take her an extra 45 minutes to get here.
Refresh. Refresh. Refresh.
I’m impatient. It’s one of my lesser qualities. Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of good qualities… my eyes, for one. Someone pretty once told me they look like jewels. And my gangly limbs come in quite handy when I pass someone in the grocery store trying to reach the mayo. But I’m impatient. Very, very impatient. I’m that person tailgating you to remind you that the speed limit is actually 35 m.p.h., not the measly 32 that you’re puttering along at (Hurry UP already!). And I’m the one who struggles to let matters of the heart mature at a comfortable and leisurely pace.
I’m also the one who can’t wait for this godforsaken email. So… I call the motel. It’s ringing. The skin on my forearms itches. A hello, some pleasantries, the question, the answer. She. Has. Arrived!
I skim the surface of the floor on my way out the door and as I pull out onto Route 1 and drive in the direction of the motel it strikes me that I’ve been surrounded by strangers for the last three and half months. Fourteen weeks of new names, handshakes, and, somehow, enough hugs to fill my weekly quota. I feel oddly comfortable and at home here in Down East Maine. There’s something special, though, about being in the company of an old friend. Someone who’s been an active part of my life for more than 10 years.