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Purgatory - Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019
Monday, Jul. 24, 2017 @ 12:05 pm
I wake up, confused. Splash my face in the fancy hotel bathroom. Stand in front of the kitchenette, plug in the coffee maker, tear open the foil package of coffee.
I sit in an oversized armchair, coffee resting on my knee, burning in a hot circle. I stare out at the mountains, the sun rising, a child splashing in the pool six floors down.
Last weekend, I woke up here, but up in the mountains. A thousand meters higher, tent pitched on a damp, sloping meadow. Dirty snow pack flanking the shoulder of the peak beside us. The heavy heads of alpine anenome, slowly rising to shed the overnight rain and to meet the rising sun.
Today, the thick white cotton sheets, and coffee made just-like-that. No walking to the lake for water, no boiling the water for 3 minutes. No frozen numb hand digging in my food cache bag for a damp tea bag.
I change into my bikini. Wrap myself up in the hotel-supplied robe. Into flip flops. And out to the elevator.
I join the child in the pool. I roll around like a seal, float on my back staring up at the guests moving around in their rooms. I suck air into my chest, my belly, and breath in the top part of my lungs. Weightless.
Eventually in the hot tub. Two guys enter, fresh from the gym. I look at them. The left one. That guy looks like Steven.
I spy on him from the corner of my eyes. Hot tubs are so goddamned intimate. I eavesdrop on their conversation, trying to hear his voice, his intonation. I haven't seen him since our technical school graduation eight years ago. He was just a kid of 20 then. Now, he is the age that I was then. Is it him? He's all muscle, confidence and man now.
He's super engaged in conversation with his friend. It'd be weird to interrupt. I go back into the pool and seal roll around a few more times. Return to the hot tub. A few minutes later, I can tell that they're fixing to leave. My heart races. Now or never. They stand up, and the maybe-Steven puts his hand on the railing to step out.
I catch his eye. Half smile and screw up my forehead:
Are you Steven... McD**ld?
He breaks into a smile. "Shannon, right?"
We talk for a while. It's really nice. Turns out his partner is doing a proposal with my company. They're in Vancouver, not far from me. The whole thing is crazy and fun and just the thing that I love about life. Paths crossing and recrossing.
Shortly later, I leave and head back to the room. Standing by the elevators. I see Daniel over in front of his meeting room. I catch his eye. I'm soaking wet, in a robe and flip flops. They're all in work clothes, strategizing for a weekend.
I walk over to say hi. Laughing at myself. And then Dan comes outside. He's a partner at my company. And then the whole group is outside. Laughing at me. A woman comes up to me, says It's Nice To Meet You and I'm Actually Really Jealous. Someone pulls out a cell phone to take a photo of me and Dan. Him in suit. Me in robe and flip flops.
I stand there meeting people, making networking-style small talk. In a bathrobe. A part of me is freaking out - I've had nightmares EXACTLY like this. The kind where you have forgotten to get dressed. The other part of me is confident enought to pull this off.
Later, I go off into the forest and hike alone. High from the events of the morning. Kneeling on the soft forest floor, studying the wildflowers.
Everything just feels so good right now.
Life is radiant.