Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The dumpster dive, the tuna salad, the story...

(originally published 02/02/09)

A retelling of a tale... about a Big Fish.
Big Fish hooked!
The lunch room was empty, he had forgotten to bring along a companion to his tuna salad sandwich- a reading companion. And the remnants from the lunch crowd earlier produced no magazines, or even a snippet of the sports page. So he took to digging in the trash...for reading material. He was desperate, bored- tuna salad made too blandly could only be savored by reading material- taking one's mind off not enough mustard and too much mayo. His dumpster dive produced a Sunday edition of the Bangor Daily News- and even it was only a segment- the sappy kind that women read or sissy boys get all emotional over. An AP article caught his eye because of the gardening byline- he loved to garden. The tuna salad experience was looking up. He read and ate...finished up his lunch and threw the BDN back into the bin. And worked his way through till the end of his day- punched the time clock and headed home. That's it. End of story?! 

Man goes to work, has tuna salad for lunch, reads sissy segment in paper only because there was nothing else more he-man like to entertain him, tosses paper into garbage and finishes out his day.

Except- something he had read in that article tugged at him as he pulled into his driveway, some 20 odd miles away from his work place. Something weird, mysterious- so alluring, he turned his Toyota around and drove back, willingly- to the place of hard work for some 30 plus years- parked his truck, nodded to the guard (who probably thought it was pretty odd to see the man back at work after only clocking out some 40 minutes ago...) made a beeline (well, maybe not a beeline- more like a pilgrimage...OK, this part I'm trying to make sound more interesting) for the lunch room. To go dumpster diving again. Only- this time, there was no tuna salad, no need for passing the time with a good read...this time- the need was- truly, he didn't know. He only knew that something made him silly enough to waste time and a gallon of gas. So- for the second time that day, the man dug through the trash- this time more excited, more deliberate, more...nuts.

The dumpster dive, the tuna salad, the story... for whatever reasons, these strange combinations drove the man right out of his mind...and into his heart. He picked up a pen and paper and wrote to the subject of the story on gardening...just to say hello. Just to say I'm thinking about you, just to say-

"I've never done anything like this, I hope you don't think I'm odd- I just felt compelled to write to you and tell you I think you're a beautiful person. I just wanted to get in touch, hoped it would mean something to you, to let you know you should keep doing what you're doing..."

That's what Big Fish do...out of the ordinary, extraordinarily kind, wondrous things. They send an envelope to the Community Center in the local nearest little town, with a note explaining-" Please put this lady's address on this envelope if you would, and forward it to her. I'm from Maine and just needed to get this message to her. Thanks."

As of September 2007, this Mainiac and I have been pen pals. He didn't even own a computer or cell phone- he preferred going to the ocean, gardening , walking in the woods, listening to the radio. The Radio!!! I have since transformed him just a little bit- now there's a CD player, a computer (he hates it), and he did own a cell phone for a little while, but chucked it somewhere, probably into the deep Atlantic off some rocky shore.

He flew out here last March...and the rest, as they say- is history. He now commutes infrequently, meeting folks from all over the globe in his travels. He doesn't know a stranger, gives his seat up in busy airports to little old ladies and women with children. Tips his hat, and says stuff like-"Hey Bud!" and "Wat an Aushol!" and "Deah-could I have a drink of watah?" On his first ever trip here, he was a bit nervous- so the guy next to him, naturally charmed I'm sure- gave him a red key pass. (Apparently, there are secret little wonderful club rooms in certain airports where, with one of these keys- you get treated like Mick Jagger.) And now the guy(from Seattle) visits Maine to see the Big Fish and they've formed a friendship. Every time my BF flies, he meets, or better word- connects to other folks through his friendly, Maine-bear hug-like charm.

(So many times I get- "Why'd you come to Maine?!!  How did you meet The Big Fish?"...well, this story is how and partially why.

 And, our story continues...I am now a Mrs. Big Fish as of 12/21/12 and could never have conceived of this particular happiness.  We grow together.)

14 comments:

troutbirder said...

Indeed. Those little "side things" that often reveal who we really are. I like it.

Anonymous said...

This is the best story ever!! I'm a sap for a happy ending and I love to hear how people met. It always gives me hope.

Love, Rhi

Anonymous said...

I knew this was a special place when, like Alice, I first tumbled into the rabbit hole (so cleverly disguised as Beauregards.) What an absolutely charming, heartwarming, wonderful story! Clearly the fates were busy and God's fingerprints were all over it. And you're so right about the tree branch. The shadow. The expressions on the faces in the background. That's where the best stories hide.

The previous entry was also a great one and though I don't pretend to know everything, I know a few things for sure and must wholeheartedly agree with other comments ~ whatever misguided soul told you that it was sinful to identify with nature has missed a major point of creation. Carry on with your joy. What greater return gift to the Creator is there than that of true appreciation and thanksgiving?? Write it. Sing it. Dance it. Snap those moments on film and share it. Please :~D!! My knee does not permit those glorious treks through the snow and countryside at this time, yet you've let me climb in your backpack so that I may also see/smell/hear the silence and the howl. It's the best kind of regifting.

(from kathryn ~ I seem to have already forgotten my password :~( will figure that out later)

Jayne said...

What a wonderful story! I am grinning from ear to ear. :c)

TatteredSpinner said...

As a person who has moved from east coast to west coast and back again (Navy brat), I absolutely adore stories about personal connections across long distances. I too, say, "Keep doing what you're doing!"

Anonymous said...

I am privelaged to know both the author and the big fish from Maine. It is, without any doubt in my mind a match made in heaven, and couldn't happen to two more wonderful and deserving people. I love you both and include you in my prayers every day, for continued bliss.
AH

truewonder said...

Glory be...everyone commenting to a truly true story. Miss Bam who frequents here is the reporter who really strung us all together. Yep-it's hard to deny the devine, we had felt early on that somebody reallly wanted us to meet. To think we might have never met had it not been for a story.

bam said...

well,i have the tingliest connection to that story above. if he's the fish and you're the bait, well i guess i'm the soggy old string. anyway, i love reading that story. still can't believe it. one of the best ever. i swear i was just there colllecting the words like butterflies in a net, letting em spill out in the meadow. i knew from the getgo i was not letting that story slip away, but i didn't know quite how deeply and fully why.

i love so much of you for the wisdom that spills out of you--that truth about story writing, how we think we're taking a picture of a barn, but then the branch is so beautiful it takes up the whole frame. steals all the focus. your stories are beautifully because there is always a branch that i can't take my eyes off of, and i never forget.

this story in particular, i treasure. thank God for happy endings. xoxoxo

Jane said...

That is an excellent story!

jane

G Atticus said...

Reading with all smiles-such presence. Determined to see what you want and the honesty with yourself to live it. Peace to you always,

G atticus

Lorrie said...

Wonderful, wonderful, WONDERFUL story! Suddenly, I think his accent may not be so bad after all...LOL.

He sounds awesome and all, but you are pretty awesome, too. You have an effect on people. I like that about you, Girlie!

troutbirder said...

Kinda strange to reread a comment I made some years ago. And even stranger to note that, stuck with writers block, I went back to look at some old post from 2009 and there you were on the comment section. I think you had a hiatus from blogging for a while and I lost touch. My bad. I always live the wonder of True Wonder...:)

bam said...

i am re-reading this on 7.15.14 and sitting in a starbucks in logan square in chicago, and tears are pouring down my cheeks. i love this story, so so much. i feel a tingle of heaven coursing through me. xoxoxo

truewonder said...

What a joy to find remnants still from as far away from Chicago- from the best story teller I know. We went to the ocean yesterday, and yet again- I wonder how the hell did I get so lucky to have moved to such a place, to truly live in the most wondrous ways....because that initial interview moved me from dark to light. xoxoxo! and thank you.