Quentin Paquette and Rusty Lynn

Rusty Lynn
7 come 11
Inspiration Piece

To The Country
By Quentin Paquette

Those clouds are dark like a curtain ahead.  Looks like it might rain.

(“Rain?  Really?  I don’t think they’d mentioned that in the forecast.”
Forecast?  The way a spell is cast, or a die?  Except for the look-out-the-window kind, it’s still just weighing odds and possibilities.
“Seems like something you should be good at.”
Maybe, still I remember a scene, sitting at the door of a locker in the morning, dripping wet, shoes soggy, peeling my gloves off, wringing the rain out of them before dropping them in my helmet.  The guy down the bench, who I usually only say ‘good morning’ to this time of day, turns the corner and gives me a sympathetic look.  I told him that if I’d had any warning, I woulda worn my rain gear.  He offers: Only a fool or a Yankee tries to predict the weather.
“What does that make you?”
I’ll take your judgment for that, I don’t think you get to choose for yourself.)

Actually yeah, I’d bet on rain.  Looks like it, smells like it.  I’ll probably be driving into it in the next mile or so.  Wouldn’t mind the cool down, so I don’t roll the windows up all the way, and leave mine open so I can put my hand out to catch some.  Now that I think about it, rain is what I was hoping for.
Hey now, Hel-lo.  Here’s a good reason to slow down, roll that passenger-side window back down to talk to her…  Hey there Good Looking, what’s the story here?
“Well, I was just hoping to be rescued.  I should have expected to see you…”
Rescued?  Right.  Since when do you need rescuin’?
“You ever ignored it when the check engine light comes on?  Well, apparently it can actually mean something sometimes.”
And today it meant…?
“It meant I need a ride.  You goin’ my way?”
It’s altogether possible.  But you ought not to make a habit of this.
“Of this?”
Of the hitchhiking, there’s no way to guarantee that the person who stops to pick you up is me.
“And you shouldn’t take such chances of stopping to pick up hitchhikers.  There’s no telling what they might surprise you with.”
Sometimes the hitchhiker brings only good surprises to mind.
“I’m still not sure I like surprises.”
(“Speaking of which, what are you doing having my car break down with a rainstorm coming?”
“What if you hadn’t come along?”
Do you think your car would have broken down if I wasn’t coming along?  Do you think I would’ve still got rained on if there was no one to make a comment about fools and Yankees?
“It’s possible my car could’ve broken down somewhere else, or that you hadn’t seen me as you were driving by.”
Not anymore it’s not.  Maybe it never was.  Maybe Erwin’s story is more about us than it is about the cat.
Just occurred to me, I’m still kinda ‘Huh’ about it myself.  Needs a little more thinking, let’s get back instead…)
No surprises?  Don’t look at me then.   If you’re looking for certainty or predestination, you’re in the wrong truck.  That’s not what this trip is about.  This trip is about being there at the place where it happens.  Being in the right place at the right time.
“Oh, sure, like: I have observed something else under the sun.”
(Wow, good one.
“I was thinking we might be drawing all our outside references from the S’s today.”
You’re, like, scary good sometimes.  But yeah, being prepared doesn’t necessarily guarantee what will happen.  Neither does what came before.  Each roll holds the possibility of a surprise.
“The preparation has to be good for something.”
Maybe it’s good for understanding…  S’s today is it?  Here comes another one…)
“I love this song, turn it up so I can hear it over the rain of the roof.”
Funny how sometimes just the right song comes on.  Mind if I sing along?
“Maybe turn it up a little bit more then.”
“Stop stealing my lines, I was just kidding.”
Guess we know where we’re going now.
(“I already knew.  I’ve gotten in the habit of reading the title.”
Too obvious?
“It’s a relief to at least have a general idea of the direction before starting these.”)
Any place in particular?
“Let’s just drive, leave the city standing and see where we end up.  Might as well do that way, I see you still don’t use a GPS.”
I still seem to arrive.
” How do you know where to exit?”
Sometimes the car needs gas, or I need to eat, or evacuate, sometimes it’s something on the sign that speaks to me.  Sometimes the passenger makes the decision.  Sometimes I have a destination in mind and have brought directions along.
“And sometimes you get lost?  Oh, sorry, I forgot, having a Y chromosome means you’re never lost.”
More specific turn information can be misleading.  A lot of times, when I’m going as fast as I can toward the destination I have in mind, I still end up somewhere else.  When I’m alert to it, I find out that the place I end up in is my destination.  Recently, I’m always finding myself in the place I’m supposed to be, going the way I was meant to go.  Here, with you, for example.
(Or, remember the story about the raft?
I thought it came before this one.  Maybe it comes after?  You haven’t even seen the notes?
Hand me the notebook, let me see… here it is.
“Will you tell me that one next?”
Of course…)


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