illustration by Kelsey King
After my second year at the University of Minnesota, a friend and I took summer jobs on fishing boats in Kodiak, Alaska. On the two-week trip out there, almost every night, I dreamt of a girl I’d never met. In one dream the girl and I were sitting under a tree, and the moon was in the sky in a way I’d never seen in real life. In the dream’s end, she walked off into the fog.
Fishing season was bad, so we lost our jobs in Alaska before we started. I came back to stay with my parents in Owatonna and work in the factories. That summer, my sister introduced me to one of her new close friends. I freaked out, because it was the girl from my dreams. Of course, I couldn’t tell her that, because that would be creepy.
One night after I got home from work, there was a knock at the basement window. It was my sister’s friend. She said she needed a partner for a late-night bike ride and invited me along. We talked all night down by the gravel pit lake. At the end of the night we were sitting at the foot of a tree, and the moon was in the sky in a way I had never seen before. She had to get home before her parents got up, so she walked off into that heavy, pre-dawn summer fog.
We fell in love that night, 25 summers ago, and I’ve been falling for her ever since. Our 20th wedding anniversary is in August. I love you, Nefy