Looking around my life for romantic interests, I realized I’d practically specialized myself right out of the market. Who was I hoping to find? A natural spirit, a forager, someone else who daydreams of dropping off the grid with a community of friends; someone to dumpster-dive and explore abandoned buildings with; someone to walk beside barefoot in the forest to go climb trees and rocks; someone to one day hitchhike and hop trains with; someone whose mind travels along the same unorthodox lines as mine. Someone unattainable, basically. But then I found her.
I met Misty gradually. We talked a little at a couple of Potluck Jams, about names and nature and things. But we met more definitively at an event that I don’t think could possibly be more Midwestern, the Monday night square dance at the Eagles’ Club. We didn’t get much chance to talk while we were swingin’ our partners ’round, but afterwards I found her because I remembered her from before, and we got to talking, and we discovered that we both loved climbing stuff. So a few days later, late on a cold weekday night, we met by a light rail station and crept together into the old grain silos by the switchyards. We explored all the places I’d been to, and squeezed into new cracks and buildings, and collected old machinery labels and extremely purple powder. (The purplest stuff of any kind I’ve seen in my whole life.)
As first dates go, it was pretty untraditional, but that’s exactly the point—neither of us would have wanted anything different, and we knew it, and from there it snowballed. A few nights later we went rock climbing (she’s a terrific climber) and told each other stories about our lives. And that weekend we rode out to St Paul and watched the annual Vulcan Victory parade, which celebrates the inevitable overthrow of the king of winter, with the appropriate use of huge gouts of flame from hot-air-balloon engines, and was followed by a giant fireworks display over the icy Mississippi. We came back together to my house and talked about how great a time we’d been having and how many even greater things we’d already thought of that we would both love to do together, and that sealed it. That was last month, and so far we’re still having more fun together than I would’ve dared to hope for. She’s taken me dancing, I’ve written her into my journal’s Imaginary Week, we’ve climbed around atop frozen waterfalls, and we’ve got better and better plans coming down the pipeline.
So if I seem a little more euphoric than usual lately, now you know why.