Work has been more awesome than usual lately. It might have something to do with the fact that I’m not in grad school anymore. [hallelujah!] But very recently, it has a lot to do with Freddy — the German journalist who I had the pleasure of showing around Bozeman yesterday. After an insanely delayed flight, Freddy showed up in my office after being awake for more than 30 hours, donning his effortlessly hip European wears, ready to hike. So after a taco at the taco stand [i’m obsessed], we took off up Hyalite Canyon.
I instantly regretted taking my car. The air conditioning is giving it a good ol’ college try, but coming up short and this was one of the hotter days we’ve had. I almost apologized to Freddy, but he didn’t seem to mind at all. He didn’t fuss. He didn’t fidget. He didn’t once stare at his smart phone. He soaked in the scenery through his open window and felt present.
Our conversations were easy and comfortable and slow. Freddy was exhausted and making the switch to speaking English. I was tired and completely fine with the refreshing break of silence or near-ambivalent conversing. For about five minutes we tried to remember the name of the movie “Cliffhanger.”
– The guy, he hitchhikes the plane… not hitchhike… that’s not the word…
– Yes, yes… HIJACKS the plane…
I still didn’t know what movie we were talking about for many more minutes.
Things became simple and beautiful. His observations were comical and heart-warming. Once during the day, he quickly turned around to me and said…
– So do you feel you have a pioneer spirit then?
– From Texas to Wyoming to Montana? Do you feel like a pioneer?
The answer — of course — was fumbling and black and white, back and forth. Yes. No. Yes, because of this. No, because of this.
It was a simple, lovely day and it made me wish that I was like that more. That I wasn’t always so pre-occupied with what was next. That I wasn’t cripplingly concerned if the ones around me were entertained. Being present and simple and curious and fine.
We hiked up to a waterfall in Hyalite Canyon and sat as close as we could. The cool mist was a paradise I didn’t realize I was craving — which is, by the way, the best kind of paradise.
We sat there for almost an hour. We talked about everything, in the most random manner. Or we just sat. It was perfect.
“I’m considering becoming an alcoholic… maybe in one or two years…”
[my favorite quote from the day. freddy langer, ladies and gentlemen.]