I Have This Friend

Truly, I do. Her name is not for public broadcast, but we can give her a nom de plume. She’d like that, she’s a writer. Who among us hasn’t imagined writing under an assumed name and all the things you’ve always wanted to say are said. Even better, the words come out of your character’s mouth leaving you as innocent as a lamb. See? This is a perfect example of my husband’s claim that I can’t focus. Back to my friend, Mary.

She took off on a road trip recently, car packed to the roof with everything and more that she thinks will be necessary or potentially necessary. After her first two nights on the road, she arrived at my place for lunch and chat. A rest-up before the short leg of her journey to night number three on the road. We had a stellar time. When she was ready to make tracks, she mentioned that she needed a list of directions to get back to the Trans Canada. I got the sticky notes.

Here, my husband would guffaw and point, asking who in their right mind would ask me for directions anywhere. He could be right. I do tend to get turned around. I began filling in my sticky notes and realized how convoluted it was. I suggested I lead her to the connecting road, where she would go on her way and I would wave her off and return home. I warned her about the three way stop, where, if you miss the exit, you can simply turn right and be on the proper road. No panic.

I led, she followed. Until she didn’t. I exited, she didn’t. Luckily she’d heard my instruction about the right turn/proper road thingy. I’d pulled over to wait for her when I saw that she had failed to exit with me. When she passed me, I pulled out behind her. I followed along until the place I’d mentioned where we would be two paths diverging, not in a wood, but in the city. I pulled up beside her open passenger window and yelled, keep on going Mary and you’ll get to exactly where you want to be. In that moment I saw that she had no idea I’d followed her to this point, it threw me, it really did. Days later I got an email from her. She’s fine, if she gets lost she just pulls off and asks for directions. This trip she’s on is going to last a month, I can’t imagine the adventures she will have to speak about when she returns.

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