Joni was singing , ” I came upon a child of God who was walking along the road ” … from the classic rock station on my car radio when I once more spotted her along the sidewalk in front of Andersons Market . There’s something both quirky and old world about the way she looks in those clothes of hers and I see a strange charm I’m not use to . Last Wednesday , while in the local coffee shop , she noticed me for the first time and I had been seeing her for months already . As I passed her table and rather embarrassingly stared , she seemed about to smile looking directly at me … a jewel light , like the living jewel in the middle of Amsterdam , the Hortus Botanicus , a rain forest in a glass house . She was taking a break from her excessive writing and hours of cold coffee . I could say nothing , suddenly self-conscious . Her effect on me, an old man , felt unhealthy and she’s become a shadow running thru my days , slow days . She must be 10 years younger than me . I live with my long-term partner in Empire who I have loved for a long time now . And I’ve been distracted writing a screenplay again with a November deadline , so I leave the house for the Glen Arbor coffee shop, 8 miles away , just for a new atmosphere and to leave Gretchen to do as she pleases . Gretchen gave me a reverent silence when we met , a feeling of being neither hungry or thirsty . I find her in all my screenplays , a muse for sure . But this now unknown woman seems to be crafted deliberately for me , emerging from one of my unfinished novels . I haven’t told Gretchen about her yet but mentioned her to my friend Paulo , who it turns out , does know her . She’s the sister of one of his friends . I think of sitting across from her and asking her questions , lots of questions . She seems cosmic some how and I want to take her to Berlin to see the street art ,
And Brussels to buy her chocolate ,
Budapest for paprika , Florence to buy her silk ,
Istanbul for perfume , a hat in London , a hand carved guitar from Madrid
And an an umbrella in Paris
and in Sarajevo , a coffee set , so that she can have her own cafe in her kitchen .
Sitting , facing the north entrance door , arranging my papers and pens , drinking that first mornings taste of caffeine , I watch as she enters , setting her ipad on the same always table under the window as she pulls out 2 dollar bills and moves to the counter . She knows the help by name and greets them each , John the owner remains stoic as usual but Noah always perks up … and I’m a senior citizen eavesdropping , feeling very foolish . Oh restless heart … shall I ask her something before she reaches for that pen and becomes unaware of all of us surrounding her ? Too late as my mind stales remembering the smokey , moody ballad earlier from my car radio , ” We are stardust , we are golden and we got to get ourselves back to the garden . ” I know she would agree and now she’s already tranced into her written words .
I’ll read the local paper instead of taking the risk of bothering her . If you want to get a feel of this community and also have a few laughs , the Dispatch Blotter of the Leelanau Enterprise is where to start . So here it goes …
Last Thursday , 7:13 a.m. – Bingham township – Three lost horses near the Leelanau Trail .
Last Thursday , 12:45 p.m. – Suttons Bay – Subject is harassing caller . He jumped out from the corner of St. Joseph and Broadway and called the caller names . Told him he would track him down .
Last Thursday , 2:56 p.m. – Suttons Bay – Subject entered restaurant and used vulgar language .
Last Thursday , 8:52 p.m. – Empire Township – Caller states five subjects down at the beach drinking and smoking . They came and went quickly . Caller thought it was odd .
Friday , 3:46 p.m. – Leelanau Township – 7 year old says brother , age 9 , is running away into the woods . Says mom is at work .
Saturday , 2:46 p.m. – Elmwood Township – Caller is reporting that cars are driving too fast in front of his house. Callers elderly father has to duck and dodge crossing the road to get his mail .
Saturday , 10:53 p.m. – Suttons Bay Township – Neighbor has been playing loud music into very early morning hours for past week . On going issue .
Saturday 11:26 p.m. – Leland Township – Caller is requesting a welfare check on daughter .
Sunday , 12:03 a.m. Leland Township – Caller reporting his wife has fallen out of bed .
Monday , 12:15 a.m. – Suttons Bay Township – Caller initially called to report loud music outside her home . Phone line stayed open and dispatch could hear loud screaming and possible struggle .
Monday , 8 a.m. – Suttons Bay – Callers neighbors door was open and their dog came running at her . Then the neighbor ran at the caller .
Monday , 9:42 p.m. – Elmwood Township – Daughter and boyfriend have not spoken to caller since Friday .
Tuesday , 7:47 a.m. -Kasson Township – Lockers and exterior walls were spray painted over the weekend .
This is planet Earth … Galaxy , the Milky Way …. Year , 2014 .