And then, as if it were all planned, you see her walking through town. She gives you the face-smile, but here in the sunlight it seems embarrassing to move right up to her with all these bags in your hand and a 5 gallon water jug over your shoulder. You’re not sure if you’re supposed to kiss again, so you just set everything down and stand nearby, studying her face, checking – nervously now – for signs that she really doesn’t want to talk to you, that she’d really rather just continue on doing whatever else she was doing.
“Hola,” you say.
Feels like another ‘chapter’ is closing and damn if it can’t come fast enough and yet still feels like it’s all too fast. Yesterday was 2001 and Lau and I had just met. She thought I was from Albania or something. Saw me just after I’d gotten out of the water from 4 hour surf. I was shivering. She said I looked like I’d ‘suffered.’ I explained to her later that even though the water was warm you actually got cold when you were out long enough. Later I brought her back to this secret camp in Cerritos and cooked arroz y frijoles with garlic and onions and a little bit of saltwater. We built fires, got better at keeping sand out of food, decided to keep going. Whenever I came back from surfing she’d always have camp tightened.
Last week Julie Schwietert sent me a quote she’d dug up from I’d given in an interview I gave a couple years ago.
“Thinking back on it, the root of our marriage was the desire to make a life out of just what we had – which was very little…traveling together, finding our way.”