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.)