Chapter 18

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There was no doubt Mitch was enamored with Abby.  Once Mitch found a melody that fit the late morning, the poetry that followed had the designs of his attentions toward her.  Mitch was not writing a song so much as an ode to meeting someone that had inspired him for the first time in quite some time.  When Abby talked to him, Mitch did not have to pretend to listen, he honestly wanted to hear what she had to say.  Mitch wanted to hear what Abby thought about, where she had been, where she was going, what her interests were, and what she was working on.  Mitch had known her for less than a week and in the night, before sleep, the only thing he could think about was Abby.

Mitch sang the melody fast and slow for almost an hour before deciding that he was satisfied he knew the bits well enough to play again.  Mitch set the guitar down on the couch, stood up, and stretched his arms toward the ceiling.  He put another log into the wood stove and went out onto the screen porch.

Mitch closed the door to the cabin behind him.  The unheated porch was sheltered with storm windows so not as cold as the outside, still colder than the cabin interior.  Mitch could feel the cold through his grey t-shirt covered yellow thermal and through his cotton socks.  He found brisk sensation revitalizing.  Curling his fingers like claws, Mitch scratched his scalp with both hands then dropped them onto his waist and scanned the lake, a recurring ritual that Mitch did several times during the day.

Like most everyone else on these waters the open expanse attracted Mitch.

To meet Mitch, one might not guess he grew up in the city.  Mitch appeared as natural to the lake and woods as any of the hunters and fisherman in Willow Lake and could easily be mistaken for someone raised on trout and by shotgun.  Mitch’s transition from concrete to woodland appeared seamless because he had embraced the simple life with head and heart in the transcendentalist spirit of Thoreau.  He had brought a copy of Walden with him to the lake and that suited him well.  Like the house on Walden Pond had been for Thoreau the cabin was close enough to the village and had just enough wilderness to suit Mitch’s needs.  Of course eventually Mitch found out that the simple life was not all that simple and that life on the lake went forward like everywhere else.  Still Mitch found a place where he could fit in.

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