The second thought that ran through my still-sleepy mind this AM:
"It'll be here between 7:30 and 8:00 PM".
Although it's been months in the making (and months longer banging around inside my head), with refinements and unique suggestions right up until three weeks ago, it wasn't until Brad called on Tuesday to tell me that it was done that I started to think about it in actual, physical terms.
It's easy to conceptualize (easier for some than others) and even easier to fantasize. But once the planning is done, the work commenced and then completed, and then the final wait begins, something changes. In my case, fixation would be an appropriate term, although some might simply refer to it as anticipation. Whatever you call it, it's a fascinating time where thoughts come faster and more chaotic as a result of the heightened awareness.
Although I'm more in tune with my surroundings when in this mind-frame, I'm also not fully processing everything I sense. Walking through a parking lot with L and the dog tonight, I noted a hint of decaying leaf stench as we stepped over a gutter, deciphered a trace of woodsmoke in the air (and thought haughtily: "It's 60 flippin' degrees! Who the hell needs a fire tonight??!") as we left a restaurant, and detected a hesitation, then a quiver, from the dog just before he flushed a cat from a thicket. Atta boy. But through all of that I failed to notice the ember-red leaves of an ash tree dominating the entire scene. Where the hell is my head?
At that moment it was in Steamboat, wondering when Evan had left and (more importantly) when he would be arriving.
L and I and the dog trundled on home and settled into the couch with two bowls of ice cream and some light reading material. Comfy on the couch yet still alert and facing the clock (now 8:20pm), I had a hard time reading a full sentence (and admit to zero comprehension of what I was 'reading') before being distracted by a noise outside. A skiff of a breeze had moved a few leaves, voices of folks moved by on the sidewalk, a branch from the gnarled old elm strafed the roof. Back to silence, through most of a sentence, then again "What was that?". Through all of this the dog snored lightly on L's feet, clearly unaware of anyone or anything approaching.
At ten til nine I'd moved a few pages ahead (still with no idea what I'd been reading) and slouched further into the couch. Shoes kicked off, dregs in the ice cream bowls solidified into lumps in the center, and L and the dog ramping up into a snore-a-thon. Then a car door closed nearby, and with that my heart rate jumped. Distant, muffled voices. Light laughter. Another car door closing. The crunch of leaves underfoot. A very, very long pause, and then an authoritative (yet somehow polite) knock at the door.
Just (snap!) like that, the months of slowly increasing anxiety were over as the door opened to reveal Evan. Knowing that he was on his way to Moab (and thus had already been in the car for 3+ hours) I offered him use of the pisser, a glass of water, and then made idle chit chat for a minute, all while steadfastly engaging him and pointedly NOT looking at what he delicately clutched in his left hand. But then my subconscious took charge and my right hand shot out as if to say "By god man--give it to me already!"
He released his grip as my hand closed around it, then carefully pointed out his role in making it come to be. Knowing that he was on his way to a camping/riding weekend, and probably ready to be done talking shop for a few days, I switched the subject to preferred campsites, the streak of stunning weather, and lingering late-summer trail conditions. Minutes (or seconds? No idea...) later, he bade me goodnight, the door was closed, and there I stood with sweaty palms and a goofy grin spreading across my face.
It. Is. Here.
Which brings me to this very moment, and a keen inability to decide on exactly where to point the camera. What picture can capture everything that led to this point? What single photo, optimized for the web, can do anything but fail miserably at conveying what sits on the desk to my right?
Gah. As inadequate as photos are for this moment, they're heaps better than the remaining words that come to mind.