In college, Fucking Amy came home one day to find I'd left a note.
Fucking Amy,Hey, this is my memory, not yours.
Phil and I are going for a walk at the refuge. Be home in a bit.She read it at 2pm. When it got dark at 5, she was mildly concerned. By 7, she was wondering whether she should call someone. By the time I came home near dawn, she was sound asleep. In retrospect, this was a red flag.
Phil and I had embarked on a 1.5 mile loop around a lake in an enormous wildlife refuge. A mile into it, two roads diverged in a wood. I continued down the paved path, but Phil grabbed my arm.
"Nah, that just loops back to the car. Let's take this other path," he said of the trail that some goat may or may not have used in the mid-17th century. My brain not yet fully formed, I let him choose.
The path soon disappeared. Eventually we were scaling fences in a panicked attempt to find any sort of sign of civilization before the sun went down. That effort failed. Soon it was pitch black and very cold, and the only sounds whatsoever were coyotes and my unremitting cursing.
"You know, Phil, sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a pretty good goddamned reason," I observed helpfully.
"It's getting cold. We should probably huddle for warmth," suggested the last human being on earth who should have proposed snuggling at that moment.
Eventually we enacted a plan where we would walk a straight line until we ran into a road or circumnavigated the globe, whichever came first. It was close, but eventually we found a road. A few miles down the road, we found the entrance to the refuge, and a few miles down that, my car. The quick 1.5 mile walk had lasted, minimally, 12 miles and 17 hours.
On Sunday, Fredo and I embarked on the same 1.5 mile walk. It lasted for 1.5 miles and 30 minutes. When two roads diverged in a wood, the stupidest dog who has ever lived chose the one that looped back to the car.