84 Miles

It was the perfect day for a road trip.

Nancy and I have a fondness for historic “antiquely” towns, and Maine has a ton.

After the chores and workie-work responsibilities yesterday, I had that itch to escape the home and travel to the coast. Time to be near the water again. Time for another nature cleansing. Five months of winter coming right up. Better get it, while the getting is good.

Nancy will drop everything she’s doing to take a road trip with me. She’ll wake from a dead sleep to drive south, or north. We have a blast out and about, together, and after almost ten years, we still have yet to have an argument.

The scenery in our area is quite stunning, and she loves to explore the small wood carving shops, “Made in Maine” locations, consignment and Hippie shops, the antique stores, and see our state’s nature and history

Forty-two miles to Camden/Rockland. Not a bad ride. Peaceful and picturesque.

Upon arriving at our destination we quickly found a two hour parking spot, gathered up our walking provisions, stuffed a mask in our pockets for those businesses that demanded face coverings, locked the doors, and we proceeded to walk our walk toward familiar locations.

It was a nightmare.

We lasted fifteen minutes.

Now, I understand most of the population is terrified of their own shadow at the moment, I get it. Fear is a huge motivator and it grows and spreads like an infection. We’re always “told” what to be afraid of.

I am not impervious to the fear tactic. I, better than anyone, know the debilitating effects of fear. When I was twelve, I was “diagnosed” with a rare blood cancer and was given six months to live.

Want to discuss fear? I’m your Huckleberry.

However, I don’t allow fear to dictate my day-to-day anymore. I know that puts me in opposition of the crowd, and that’s ok. I thrive outside the masses, far away from group think.

Six foot social distance? Sure, no problem. I don’t prefer closeness to strangers as it is. Six feet, or further, is something I do anyway. Easy.

I don’t like congested crowds. I prefer intimate, small groups.

Mandated masks inside stores? I get it. I’ll slap one on, cause I require supplies and provisions, and I have the trip mastered to less than ten minutes of shopping.

Outside? Wide open? Grassy parks, exploring tall monuments, and strolling along the wide cobblestone paths? Biking the streets, or hiking the trails? Sitting on a bench gazing out to the water and watching the boats? Walking a sidewalk?

Hate me if you will… feel free not to press the like button… but… not in my world.

The mask remains in the pocket.

So, when we entered the silent, slow moving, hunched over, endless swarm of mask wearers, walking outside, dragging their feet across the cross-walks, “avoiding each other like the plague” walking wide berths around passerby’s, while strolling the cobblestone paths, and sitting in the gazebos, and relaxing on the grassy areas, taking pictures of each other instead of the beauty all around them… it was like waltzing into another dimension.

None of it felt right. There was an oddness to the environment which made my skin crawl and give me waves of shivers from my scalp to the tops of my feet.

The statues, and figurines displayed in shop windows, had surgical masks covering the faces. Each sign hanging from every store had mask advertising, done up all pretty and decorative.

Fear sells, who’s buying?

We reached one point along the street, and the human herd splayed out, and dispersed away from us.

Like, we were a rock, thrown into a pond. The people ripples floated away.

Hand in hand, Nancy and I stopped dead, looked at each other, ducked into a narrow, empty side alley, and had the talk.

“You feeling what I’m feeling?”

She said, “I was going to say something, but didn’t want to upset you.”

“Upset me?”

“You drove all this way…”

I laughed. “We’ve driven 70 miles before, one way, just to have a homemade donut and a cup of hot chocolate. You wanna get out of here?”

She nodded, and we proceeded to about-face and vacate the town. There was nothing more to do. There was nothing there for us.

About five miles into the return trip, she says, “one of those homemade donuts sounds pretty good.”

“You read my mind.”

A mile later, a pastry shop pops into view like a lighthouse in a storm.

We pulled in, and bought $13 worth of junk food for the late night munchies and the drive home. Eclairs. No-bake cookies. A few varying other pastries.

All in all, it was an 84 mile round trip, worth taking. The events were unpredictable, but the outcome is what was important.

Upstairs, in her comfy place, Nancy settled in for the evening, crashed a little early, and I returned to my lair and my characters, downstairs.

Perhaps, that’s why I enjoy spending so much time with my imaginary friends. No matter how many times I dive back into their minds, or invest energy in their lives, I’ve come to very specific conclusions about the cast of characters I have created.

A few characters, in particular.

They fear nothing.

Maybe, that’s why I spend so much time with them. It’s more fun being fearless.

Anyway, enough of that drivel. Life moves forward. Another work week coming up.

Not much has changed with the novel. Another couple of weeks, perhaps? Three? I’ll know more as those days approach.

I’ll continue to post updates as I receive them.

Thanks for the ongoing support. Welcome, to the new folks who have joined. I appreciate you.

Love Ya’ll. Chat soon. Be good to each other.


Thank you for reading and joining me on my journey. Please subscribe in the provided area to receive a notification of new posts by email or feel free to follow me on Twitter @jeremymorang, or like my Facebook page to read up on a character’s journal entries, receive information about the Guardian War Chronicles, and other installments to come. My silly YouTube channel can be found here. Please give this a like if you like it, share with others to help spread the love, or leave a comment if you wish. See you at the next one.

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