We stayed so long our bedroom in the cabin took on the the mellow odor of skin-and-sweat-soaked sheets, which in turn mixed with the smell of our books, the favorites we’d loaded onto one of the broad window ledges beneath the view of a thicket of skinny pines.
In the mornings Sailor would come in with two mugs of coffee and set them on the lacquered stump of an old tree that was our nightstand. And we would sit on the sheets, naked, and drink our coffee.
One morning we stared openly, simply, at each other’s genitals, and smiled softly, both of us…until I giggled. Then Sailor tackled me backwards onto the mattress and we had a tussle.
Another morning while I read to Sailor she stared out the window toward the steep hill going up beyond the cluster of pines. A little winding trail led away from the back deck, up into the big trees, the higher reaches of the mountain.
That same morning, as we sat out back, smoking, and looking up into the woods, Sailor told me that she had longed to take a walk up the trail.
Ordinarily we’d walked down toward the village, where several trail heads met in a small meadow. But the narrow, difficult trail, beset with heavy, spiraling roots, that wound steeply upward from the back of the cabin…it was a thing whose distances we’d preferred to imagine. Until Sailor said something.
“The experience of that trail; it can’t possibly do for my senses what imagining it does for my soul. I know I’m going to be disappointed. I just want to get it overwith. Fuck it, N. Let’s just do it. Let’s go right now. Let’s not even put out our cigarettes.”