"Mom, do you think that starting after the summer you could drive 40 less kilometers per week?"*
This is one of the last things my daughter said to me the night before leaving for camp 3 weeks ago. A few days before that conversation, her class had attended a presentation about global warming and the environment and she was very interested in what she learned. Since then, she had been reading up on the subject and began to understand the concept of lots of small changes = big change. (Side note: proud mommy)
And even though summer isn't even half over, I decided to take her up on her challenge and attempt to bike instead of drive, when possible. One of my first outings was to the Doctor's office to get a mysterious bump on my foot checked out. This may have not been the wisest decision because it was Day One of the Great Heatwave of 2013 and by the time I got to the office, my foot (along with the rest of me) was a stinky, hot mess.
On the other hand, maybe it was the best decision I ever made... (enter: Romantic Fantasies)
So there I was, biking along, seeing the world (ok...the world within a 5 km radius of my house) through new, two-wheel eyes. I saw stores that I'd never noticed before. I saw houses that I never noticed before. And I saw the stuff lying in the gutters that I'd never noticed before. Like this:
A lost journal.
It took my mind a couple seconds to catch up to what my eyes had seen but when it did, I slammed on my Schwinn Roadster breaks (read: come to a gradual stop), kicked-down the kick stand, and walked half a block back to retrieve this mysterious lost book. When I picked it up, it took everything I had to hold myself back from snapping off the elastic and indulging in someone else's secret thoughts. Alas, I had an appointment to get to and if the journal proved as intriguing as my imagination thought it would be, I was sure to be late. I sighed like a love-struck school girl, tossed it in my backpack, kicked up my kickstand and I was on my way.
For the rest of the ride, I fantasized about what I would find when I opened the book. Would it be gut-wrenching, my-hearts-been-torn-out-and-stomped-on poetry? Would it be the lyrics of the next Taylor Swift wannabe? Would it be one of Hilary Swank's student's Freedom Writers diaries? Or perhaps a travel diary, like the ones I write whenever I go on vacations that aren't Florida or Buffalo.
After what seemed like an eternity, I arrived at the doctor's office, checked in, and then after sitting my sweaty self down in the plastic chair, pulled out the journal. Carefully, I peeled back the elastic and opened it up.
Nothing. Absolutely nothing. I blurred the image to protect the author's (and I use that moniker lightly) identity but believe me when I tell you that the contents did not match any one of my romantic fantasies. The contents were not even remotely related to any one of my romantic fantasies. From what I can tell, this journal is nothing more than Donald Trump-esque inspirational tips for selling financial products.
Sigh. And not in a good way.
So what can we learn from this little tale? Is it to stop picking up trash from the gutter? Or is something else. Like that journal writing is one of the last purely romantic things left in our world. And its one fantasy I'm not ready to give up.
So if one day you find a journal in the gutter, and it looks like this:
And it has a day-by-day recount of a recent trip to Paris, Spain, and Morocco. And its got awesome quotes from books and restaurant named under the heading of "Restaurants to go to" and book titles under the heading, "Books to Read", it's mine. Give it back.
PS. In case you were worried, that lump on my foot turned out to be nothing more than running too much with shoes that were done up too tight.
*Why after the summer? I'm pretty sure it's because she believes that while she is away at camp, I pretty much don't do anything but sit home and either (a) write her letters or (b) wait for the postman to bring me letters from her. This is mostly true.