Finding the Courage to Fulfill Your Forgotten Dreams: The Girl in the Green Sweater

Road Schooled by Joe Trey: AKA Adventure Hermit

Photo by@zmnif via Twenty20

A Fictional Story Inspired by Real Events and a Dream.

As SHE turned to go, HE desperately wanted to embrace HER.

The Girl in the Green Sweater

They'd barely met, but HE was moved by HER. No one would argue SHE was naturally beautiful. But it was HER SPIRIT that called to HIM. Did SHE notice HIM the way HE did HER?

The Girl in the Green Sweater

SHE wasn't fearless. But SHE was brave. HER need to plan was absent. SHE followed the wind. It was enough. HE wished HE could dare to follow the wind.

HE knew SHE'd be home again soon. But this was not HIS home. HE didn't know where HE would be when and if SHE returned. SHE was born here, but HE knew no one place was HER home

The Girl in the Green Sweater

Their meeting here in Ely was unexpected. HE'd never been to Minnesota. HE wasn't supposed to be here now. If not for an unexpected invitation, HE'd still be home. HE wondered had the breeze carried HIM here? Knowing HE was too weak to follow the wind.

SHE was running late, dashing out of the cafe where SHE was working part-time. HE was just passing through — a last-minute boy's trip. A tick in either direction and they'd never have met.

SHE came back into the cafe.

The Girl in the Green Sweater

Coffee was poured, and conversations were shared. Invisible energy traveled across the air between them. Neither could describe it. Yet, neither could deny it - the force conveying what their words were afraid to speak.

Seconds became minutes, minutes became hours, and hours became days. The days became the week that would force them to part. A Summer Job in Coldfoot was waiting for HER.

HIS vacation time was up. HE needed to get back to a job that HE didn't care about. Trying to work, but thinking only of HER.

The Girl in the Green Sweater

Photo by @DimaBerlin via Twenty20

SHE hadn't even gotten into HER battered blue car, and HE already missed HER. HER scars were perfection. The car's, and . . .

The Girl in the Green Sweater

Would HER car even make it? It didn't look like it could make it across town, any more than HER Alaska destination. HE should go with HER. HE wasn't mechanical. But HE could keep HER company when the car broke down. When SHE broke down. Keep HIM from breaking down when HE was back home, without HER.

Perhaps HE could get home and take a leave of absence. Find an excuse to go to Alaska to see HER. Would SHE like that? Did SHE want HIM to follow?

The Girl in the Green Sweater

Would SHE breakdown without HIM? No. HE knew HER power resonated from somewhere more profound. It didn't require foundations and commitments. Just a belief that the world was not the dark and dangerous place HE had been lead to believe.

The world was more nurturing and giving than any illusions of safety that HE had created around HIMSELF. The job that made HIM money, but never enough. The bills created by HIS never-ending need to fill an infinite hole within himself. An ever-present need to buy happiness. But SHE was happiness.

The Girl in the Green Sweater

Photo by @anasta via Twenty20

HE'd always wanted to ride the Dalton Highway. Was this fate? Does fate exist? Perhaps HE should invite himself. Go with HER now. HE knew all too well who was waiting for HIM at home.

"The Mistress Routine." she would suck HIM back into HER womb. Comfort and keep HIM warm. Convince HIM that HE was safe only with her. Remind HIM of the terrible things awaiting HIM in the world.

Alone, HE feared HE could not find the determination that was coursing through HIM now — the courage HE experienced when HE was with HER.

The Girl in the Green Sweater

Back home, HIS mind would overtake HIS heart. Not so much convincing HIM, but reminding HIM that HIS mistress was HIS only salvation. Only she could keep HIM safe. But she was not a savior; she was a succubus of dreams. HE needed . . .

The Girl in the Green Sweater

They moved closer to touch elbows. Their masks hiding their mouths. HE was smiling. Was SHE smiling? HE searched HER green eyes for a sign. Did SHE do that on purpose, HE wondered. Find clothes that matched HER eyes? HE willed himself to believe that SHE was smiling back.

The Girl in the Green Sweater

They both fumbled as they raised their hands. Then touched elbows — Not one, but two. It felt more intimate to touch two in this intimacy lacking world of social distancing.

Touching two elbows felt like hugging. It didn't really, but HE tried to convince himself it did. HE desperately wanted to hug HER with both arms, Mo reso, HE wanted HER to hug HIM back.

The Girl in the Green Sweater

HE fumbled with his mask. It was too small and started to slip from his nose as his lips parted to speak. HE laughed to himself. Thinking how his lips were much braver than his brain. Willing to say the words his brain could not bring itself to formulate.

HE wondered where his heart was in all of this. The answer came as HE looked down. It was visibly beating out of his chest. HE watched HER move toward HER car. Was SHE moving slowly? Was she waiting for HIM? SHE looked like SHE was moving slowly, but HE couldn't be sure.

HE saw HER hand reach toward HER car door. In a moment, SHE'd be gone. SHE turned back toward HIM. This time there was no doubt, HE could see smile lines coming from HER eyes.

SHE could see the palpitations reaching toward HER from under HIS left breast pocket. HE felt the words attempting to wrestle themselves from his lips — jumbles of letters straining to become words. But HIS brain lacked the strength to convert them into even the simplest of sentences.

No matter. SHE could see what HIS brain and lips failed to reveal. HIS heart pounding out an indisputable morse code of deep need and desire.

- .- -.- . / -- . / .-- .. - .... / -.-- --- ..-

"Get in," SHE said.

The Girl in the Green Sweater



Photo by @unihoc29 via Twenty20

The words, "As SHE turned to go, HE desperately wanted to embrace HER," open the story. I can see how this might imply a love story between a man and a woman. But to me, "She" is not a physical woman. But a muse. "She" represents a universal urge to not let go of what we truly desire. To not turn our back on our dreams.

The words tumbled out from an early morning dream. Feeling like a cross between lyrics and prose. While I know nothing of poetry, The phrase "The Girl in the Green Sweater" kept demanding repetition within the story. Who am I to argue with a muse?

Inspiration 1

I suspect a portion of it came from an emotional late-night conversation with my 16-year-old daughter. Like many kids, she is struggling to adapt to the lack of structure in school. Her ADHD makes it even more challenging. At school, she had felt misunderstood and lost even before COVID. I wanted to write her a story of hope.

Inspiration 2

The theme of choosing the wind as a guide comes from my love of travel. I believe in the healing powers of the journey. To indeed find ourselves, we must sometimes leave where we are stuck. 

As I wrote the words above, the phrase "The Way Out Is The Way In" kept repeating inside my head. The lyrics are from Secret Touch. A song buried in the middle of the RUSH album Vapor Trails

It reminded me to trust that was on the other side is not there to harm us but to bring us closer to what we desire most. If we only dare to push through to it.

Inspiration 3

The third element was the dream itself. It was a strange dream. In it, I was in the woods, in classrooms, and in business offices. Sometimes all at the same time. People were swimming and unwrapping Christmas gifts, and it wasn't Christmas. I was tasked with cutting down a portion of a tree and delivering it to Alaska. I only have the late-night herbal tea to blame.

One last thing

I didn't want to reveal the morse code translation within the story. Yet, I know some readers might want to know what it meant. If you are curious, leave a comment below. In a week or so, I will reveal it in the comments. If you know what it means, please don't ruin it for anyone wanting to create their own interpretation.

I hope this story helps you to find direction toward your own questions.

Thank you For Reading!

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Joe Trey is the Adventure Hermit! A moniker fitting of his ambivert nature. Visions of rock stardom drove him to get a BFA in music from the University of Connecticut. Not long after, he abandoned his dreams of NYC and relocated to the Rocky Mountains! He has drunk the occasional "toe." When in Dawson, one might say. Don't ask. Or do! His work and love of travel have brought him nearly around the world. Writing, Hiking, Camping, Music, Motorcycles get him up and out each day. Hugging his wife and teenage daughters at night, bring him home! Not a tortoise, not a hare (but a bit hairy in all the wrong places), Joe only competes with himself. Through his writing and adventures, he encourages others to do the same!

Colorado State

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