Wednesday, October 27, 2004

"What do we do now?"

The Movie: The Candidate, 1972 (Jeremy Lerner, screenwriter; Michael Ritchie, dir.)
Who says it: Robert Redford as Bill McKay, maverick candidate for the U.S. Senate from California
The context: It's the last line of the movie, after McKay has won.
How to use it: When you've accomplished something major and have no idea what happens next.

Yesterday's leg: 265 miles, 1.25 tanks of gas (traffic jam in Boston)
Stops: Cambridge, MA; China, ME

Here we are, staying a few days with my friends Anna and Tarren Bragdon. Anna and I worked together at the Conference of State Bank Supervisors, in another lifetime, and Anna moved up here about seven years ago. She and Tarren got married in Portland one snowy weekend about two years ago, and they live on the banks of China Lake, just northeast of Augusta.

Dizzy likes lakefront living. He likes fall in New England. He seems to know that time's running out if he wants to capture any squirrels in this calendar year. Most of all, I think, he's glad to be done with driving for a while.

We stopped in Cambridge yesterday for lunch with my friend Tom Ehrenfeld, also a writer and editor, and a friend of mine from college. Tom insisted that I stop on my way out of town to say hi to Kate Mannes, who runs Kate's Mystery Books, and I'm glad I did. Kate has her own publishing imprint, with Justin Charles, so we talked briefly about working together on some things next year.

I crossed the Maine state line at 3:29 p.m. It seemed unreal, after such a long time of planning and fretting. Last night I sat on the Bragdons' couch in front of the Red Sox game, and tears rolled down my face -- not because I was sad, not because I was happy, but just because... because... because, I don't know why. Just because.

This morning Anna and I had breakfast at the A-1 Diner in Gardiner, and she showed me the apartment I'm going to rent from her. It's walking distance from downtown Gardiner, has a lovely deck, and gets the morning sun. Dizzy will be disappointed that it's not on a lake, but he'll like the town common. I always wanted to live somewhere that had a town common.

Today I'm sorting through two months' worth of mail, and trying to figure out a few technical challenges -- such as the fact that I don't have a cell phone signal out here, and I can't get online with my own computer. Hmm.

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