She said to me, “Let’s go get lost in the woods.”
I loved her, and so I followed her, as one does. She led me through the dappled light, laughing and smiling, because she is the sort of person who likes to be lost. There are people who always want to know right where they are, and people who like that edge-of-a-cliff sense that they might never be found, and she is the latter. I love her for that, as I love her for many things.
The places she took me were new to me. Of course they were — she wanted us to get lost, so that we would have to work to find our way home. There were new, old trees which I had never seen before. Have you ever thought about that? Something can be so, so old to the world, but we call it new because we’ve never seen it before. The trees were new, but far older than me or my parents or my grandparents.
We found a place where the land dipped down and the earth was too steep for the trees to claim purchase, so the sun shone bright and full on the rocks. There was a big rock a big round pale rock, halfway down the steepness. We sat upon it, for a while, together. It was not comfortable, because we’d brought no blankets to soften the hard stone, so we took off our clothes to form a cushion, and lay there naked in the sun.
She showed me more new things that day, which were old things to others, of course. I don’t need to speak of them here for you to know what I’m talking about, because even though they were new to me, they weren’t new. They were just part of what it means to be human.
When we grew tired, and we knew we would be expected home for dinner, we made our way out of the forest. I disappointed her, as I often do, because I found the way home so easily. She truly wanted us to be lost, together, where nobody could find us. I wanted to be with her, but I didn’t want to be lost.
I don’t know how to be lost. Not really. It’s just part of who I am, like her desire to be lost. I know where I want to be, and I know how to get there. I wanted to be home, and so I took us there, in a straight line entirely unlike the meandering, looping path we’d taken on the way in.
We’re at odds, in the way we function, but that’s what I love about her. The differences. I think that’s what she loves about me, too. She likes to toy with me, to discover how she can and can’t push me, and whether she can convert me over to her desire for freedom and, well, disorientation. Maybe, in time, we’ll ceased to be amused with each other, but for now, it’s what we have.