So when I wrote that last post, I mentioned Cassidy and I jogging together. I thought I had talked about that more, but then realized I had just written that letter to my teacher. Here’s the skinny:
About a month ago, a teacher I respected and loved very much, Dr. Ken Webb, passed away very suddenly. Tuesday the school did a memorial service for him and a few other members of the alumni that had died in the past year. I would not go.
Ceremony’s like that bring me little closure. I am not putting them down... They just are not for me. I spill my tears on the page, I guess.
Cassidy and I have been seeing each other on the trail jogging for the past week or so. She is much better at it than I. Or she might simply look better doing it. Going further down that train of thought will get me into trouble, though.
On Tuesday, the day after I wrote about her last, she matched pace with me and struck up a conversation. Well, her side of the conversation was words, mine was mostly wheezes, grunts and the occasional “I think I’m going to die.” We slowed and she asked if I was going to the ceremony that night. I told her probably not and told her pretty much what I told you.
She did not say much about it. She asked a few questions about Dr. Webb. I told her about the classes I had had him in, how he liked to quote T. S. Eliot and tell tales about the Opal River Treasure.
“What’s that?” she asked.
I had forgotten she was not local. Of course, neither are you or you would not be reading this rambling. The local people know all about my business. Anyway.
The Opal River Treasure is an old local legend. See, Bannville sits right between the major trading centers of New Orleans, Mobile, the Gulf Coast, Jackson and Meridian, MS. Trails and roads littered this area before the advent of trains, especially as Bannville sits on the Opal River, which runs from Jackson right down to the Coast. Where there is trade, there are bandits. The big gang around here in the 18th century was the Copper Gang. Supposedly, the gang had hidden their riches on one of the small islands that litter the river near the bends and twists.
As I start talking about the different islands, I noticed we were jogging. Not just walking, but jogging. I was out of breath, but we had increased at such a pace that I did not notice.
“You sped us up,” I said.
“I distracted you,” she said, “Got your mind away from your body for a minute.”
I did a quick assessment and noticed my lungs were burning a bit and my feet hurt, but I only when I focused on them.
“You’re pretty good at distracting,” I said.
She just smiled a little and jogged ahead of me a bit. I thought about speeding up to match, but then decided to enjoy the view. Okay, sorry, this is not that kind of story.
She turned around and smiled, staying in pace in front of me.
“Show off,” I said.
“You used to smoke, right?” she asked.
“Cigarettes. Still do, just haven’t had one in a couple of months,” I said.
She laughed, “So no pot either, then.”
“Not in a very long time. Never much for it.”
“Funny,” she said, “People who smoke always say what they smoke. Ask ‘Do you smoke?’ and people always say ‘cigarettes.’”
“Do you smoke?”
“No, not in a long time,” she said. Her grin got bigger, filling her face and causing dimples to appear, “I’ll see you tomorrow, Mr. Banned.”
Without waiting for a response, she turned and ran away. I could not have followed if I had wanted to. And honestly, I did not want to. I slowed to a walk and let the distance between us increase.
I liked Cassidy, but there’s trouble there. I work with her and with Natalie around that is just not the kind of equation that needs solving. Best to enjoy talking at work and now here on the track in the early morning. That’s all.
Yeah. I know. I have said that before.
By They Might Be Giants
Anyway, I have to do the dishes and run down to New Orleans because I have tickets to They Might Be Giants!