Copyright 2016 Mario V. Farina
Shakespir Edition, License Notes
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Mario V. Farina
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There is a road that runs from Troy to Bennington that has a rest stop halfway up a steep mountain climb. People park to rest not only themselves, but often, their autos as well. There are a couple of binoculars that people can use to scan something like 100 miles into the distance from that point. My home is located on this road not far from this rest stop. For me this Plaza is a convenient point for me to take a daily walk.
One morning recently, I left my home and walked to the Plaza. It had taken perhaps ten minutes. What I would do daily was to stroll from one end of the Plaza to the other. Then I would walk back home. On this day I noticed a young woman whose car was parked nearby. She was using the binoculars to enjoy the magnificent view. As I made my walk, I came very close to her. She turned and glanced at me. She nodded, and I nodded back. Returning to my home I could not get her out of my mind.
She was about five-six, perhaps twenty-five years old, sort of blonde and auburn all mixed together. She had been wearing a blue jacket and a black skirt. She was not wearing a ring on her left hand. I was a bachelor, about her age, and fortunate enough to be able to make a living writing training manuals for various companies in the area. I hadn’t thought much about marriage because my workload was heavy, and I did not have a great deal of time for dating. Besides, where I lived did not make it easy for me to meet women. However this girl at the binoculars had impressed me so much that I felt she might be the one I was looking for.
The next day, I went to my walking place, as I called it, not expecting, very much, to see the girl, but was greatly surprised that she was there at the binoculars, as she had been the day before. As I walked and got nearer to her, she did not seem to notice me at all. There was no glance in my direction, and I did not have the courage to say anything myself. I finished my walk and went home scolding myself.
On the next day, almost the same scenario repeated itself. I could not believe it. There she was, wearing the same clothing as before, with her car parked nearby, as before. She was looking through binoculars, as before. Today, I had decided, if she was there, I would rev up my courage and speak to her. To my great chagrin, I didn’t do it. I had walked by her as before and she had not noticed me, as before. I had not been able to say anything, as before. During the ten minutes that it took for me to walk home, I called myself all the insulting names that I could think of, including stupid, moron, imbecile, and spineless.
I felt I had lost my chance to meet the girl of my dreams. I believed she could not possibly be there on next day. But she was! I began my walk. As I got nearer and nearer to where she was, viewing the superlative scenery, I got within a couple of feet of where she was standing. Suddenly she turned to me, and said, “Aren’t you going to say something?”
Her statement, had come completely by surprise. “I . ., I . .” I couldn’t finish my sentence. “My name is Margaret Wendelken,” she said. “People call me Maggie. You’re Arthur Hillman. I’ve been wanting to meet you. I’ve taken several hours off from work in order to do this. One of us should have had the courage to say something on the first day!”
“You know me?” I said.
“Yes, I work for Hamilton Products in Bennington. We are currently using your manual on Ace Office Works. The instructor, Alexander Smithford, told the class that you live near here, and walk in this rest area every day. Your manual has a picture and a short biography of you. I noted that you are not married.”
“I’m happy to know you, Maggie,” I managed to articulate with some difficulty. “My nickname is Alex. I’ve been coming here several days hoping that we would meet,” I continued.
“I know that,” she said. “And each day I lost some time at work because of it!”
“I’m not very gregarious,” I said. “It’s hard for me to initiate a conversation.”
“I see that,” she said smiling! “And I’ve been coming here hoping that one day you’d open up.”
“Do you live nearby,” I asked.
“In Troy,” she responded. “Your home is about halfway between Troy and Bennington. There are some elegant eating places in the two cities. I see a cute car in your driveway. Are the seats comfortable?”
I smiled. “You know about my Smart Car,” I asked?
“Yes, but I’ve never ridden in one.”
“I’d be happy to give you a demonstration of how the seats feel,” I said bravely.
“My, you’re bold,” she exclaimed! “I’ve been carrying a little slip of paper with my address and phone number on it,” she said. “I’d like to have you phone me.”
“I’ll do that tonight,” I said.
“Just a quick thought,” she said. “Your technical writing is excellent. I’m sure you could write a true to life story as well.”
“Thanks for the suggestion,” I responded. “I’ll try it!”
“I’m late for work. I have to leave now,” she stated.
I watched as she walked to her car, entered and drove off. Smiling, she waved as she went by me. I waved back.
On this day, my walk home was a cheerful one. I couldn’t get over the fact that she said I had been bold. I had never thought of myself that way. I wondered where I had had the audacity to initiate a conversation with a woman that I had never met before!
This is the story of how we met.