Walden with Mr. G...

We went in the name of irony. On a November night, with rain in the air, the signposts dark. He was from Canada, a guest at the hotel I where I was working. He was there every few weeks on business. Mr. G.... Mr, but he was only a few years older than myself, a college senior, living off campus and working 40 hours a week.

Walden, he said. Is it nearby?
Not far, I told him, let me look it up.

And then we hatched a plan, we'd go after my shift ended at 11:30. We rove down 95 to 495 in my little blue Saturn, windshield wipers furiously doing their job. I forget what we talked about. He made fun of how I said college. The Moulin Rouge soundtrack played through the speakers. We passed the parking lot on the left and barely saw the sign. I pulled over and hit the hazards. We jumped out, camera in his hand.

Take a picture of me in front of the sign! Laughter was on his voice.
Why are we doing this, again? I asked.

Back in the car he explained, his friend despised Thoreau. Mr. G... was indifferent to the writer, and always wanted to be contrary. And so years before Instagram selfies, we took his picture to send along to one of Thoreau's supposed biggest critics. A picture of Mr. G.... giving a thumbs up at Walden. It was then that I knew that there'd never be an us...who poses ironically at Walden? And it was that thought that was my final mental argument when I said goodbye for the last time to Mr. G...

{Written during one of the Writing Naturally workshops. I'll be revisiting pieces I've written during the in person workshops and the online course... and sharing here.}


  1. Love this. So intriguing...and it makes me want the rest of the story! But you're right--who does that?! :)

  2. What an intimate look into your life. I love the way this story unfolds to reveal the "mental argument." I have these ALL the time with my contrary husband. Thankfully I'm able to speak out my mental arguments with him so we can work through them together. When I was younger, I did not have that skill or confidence to disagree with anyone.


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