Hey, there you are. Come keep me company while I wait to leave for the airport. Tim’s flying in tonight, arriving after 10, so I need to do something while I’m waiting.
He’s coming for our joint birthday celebration, the midway point between my birthday (10/1) and his (10/30). We’ve been celebrating this way for as long as I can remember, doing the individual cake/cards on our individual days, but something together midway. We did a trip to St. Louis once, and a Broadway show in Chicago. When we have the means to do something, we do it.
Last week, I had a trailer hitch installed on my beloved Equinox, Vern.
Yeah, I named my car. It’s Vern L. Equinox. If you get the joke, we could be friends.
Today, I picked up the teardrop camper we’ll be towing this weekend, and, if all goes well, in the future. I keep saying this is our “compromise” camping trip, the one in which I get to sleep in the forest with Tim, and Tim gets to NOT sleep on the ground. But the more I look at this storm, and change out of rain-drenched clothes (three times today; my “waterproof” jacket has lost its “waterproof”), the more I realize this camper was an excellent idea.
But Tim’s the real birthday present. I reached a breaking point today, to my surprise. All was going really well (without a hitch, you might say, except…well, never mind) in my preparations; all the stuff is together and ready to put into the car, and I even made homemade marshmallows for s’mores. Never did this when the kids were around, but Tim and I like high-quality indulgences, the theory being that the more expensive or troublesome they are to acquire, the less willing we will be to *over* indulge.
Anyway. So I’m back from picking up the camper, and we live in a beautiful apartment complex built into the side of a small mountain. It’s a dogleg something something, I don’t know, I’m a flatlander. But it’s hilly. It’s kinda Portland’s schtick, to be hilly. And here I am, on a hill, unhooking the trailer, and it starts rolling backward down the hill.
I’m hanging on as tightly as I can, and I can keep it from going any farther, but now I’m stuck. Both hands are required to hold on to this thing, but if I could just reach over, I could hook it back up and figure out a different plan. But I can’t let go. I’m in full panic. Feet planted, squatting to pull the teardrop back up the hill, standing between the car and the trailer. Shit.
I’m not sure how much longer I can hold on. Thank god I changed shoes, or I’d have no traction. My shoulders are starting to ache. I change positions.
And then I realize…I have no one to call. There is no person here I can call on the phone and ask to come and help me pull this thing to a safe place. Even if I could get my phone out…I literally have no one.
Tim’s my rock. He is always, *always* there. Always does what he promises, always there if I need him, always just a phone call away when I’m sad or lonely. He never leaves my side. My phone is my lifeline to Tim, to safety.
Today, for a few minutes, I realized that for right now, for the next few months, he’s not really by my side. Most of the time I manage really well on my own, but when there’s a 900-pount trailer dragging you down the side of a small mountain, I would have liked him here in body as well as spirit.
I eventually figured out how to manage the camper into a safe spot, letting gravity work *for* me and controlling the roll. Tim might have seen this solution sooner. Oh, who am I kidding; he would have handled the whole thing so I wouldn’t have to. He does that for all kinds of problems, like full garbage cans and spiders. I CAN handle them, but he never lets me.
I just want to bury my face in his neck and fall asleep. I just want him here. Physically. Not just for the trailer but for the reminder that I’m not alone when shit starts rolling downhill. It’s been a really good five months for me, very little downhill. I’m pretty grateful for that.
It won’t last forever, though. Eventually, something is gonna give way, some problem or issue or (god forbid) injury. I hope I can hang on until Tim returns for good in the spring.
Sure would be nice to be able to phone a friend, in the meantime.
Hey look, it’s almost time for me to leave. I’ll slowly take my aching, saved-a-camper-from-destruction body to the airport, where I’ll fall into Tim’s arms with joy and relief.
Tomorrow we’ll go to the Gorge and drive through Hood River and pick up several dozen pounds of apples and pears. Then we’ll sleep in the soft, damp forest and listen to the wind travel across our camper, warm and dry in our little camper.
Thanks for keeping me company.