I’m behind them on the trail. Gavin has run to catch Mary up because he’s fascinated to find her barefoot.
“I’m a hippie,” she explains.
He drops on the ground, drags his shoes and socks off, cries, “Me too!” And plunges his feet into the water.
We watch a mallard whirl past. Skip rocks two, three, four times. We roll up G’s pant legs. “I’m a hippie!” he tells the trees.
I came here a year ago with this girl. She was a punk in a pencil skirt with heeled boots that looked something worse than dangerous. The day before, she’d sent a text at 5:40 a.m. Can’t sleep. Worried.
Want to share?
And then, moments later, she wrote, I’m thinking about sex and body image and self consciousness.
It was one of the most naked moments I’ve ever had with another human. And it happened electronically. Only it didn’t. I could see her typing it out. Her furrowed little face. The anxiety of sleeping with someone new. The anxiety of expressing your anxiety.
The kid climbs onto Mary’s rock and sits in her lap. Their heads come together while they chatter and the light flits and pierces like summer bugs.