Late last night, probably around 9 or so, two NOBOs came in to the shelter. They were courteous about it, though, so I can’t fault them for it. Eventually we’ll all be the person coming in after dark.
In the morning we introduced ourselves. They were Rock Bottom and Fruity Pants or Fruit Pants or something, from Boston and New Hampshire. They were nice. We chatted for a bit, and on the subject of Woods Hole hostel, I discovered that they’d run into SarTec and Butcher at some point.
“He said he was the last SOBO, but there was another one like 100 yards behind him, so…” (that was Butcher behind SarTec, who wasn’t a sobo. Still, I took a perverse delight in SarTec being so discredited. Of course I told them the truth.)
I headed out around 8, unsure of my destination for the day. I passed Slow Man a few miles in. He mentioned that he was going to stop off at Trent’s for a hamburger. I said I didn’t think I’d stop there, but maybe I’d see him at Wapiti if I couldn’t make it to Doc’s Knob.
He sat down and we chatted for a bit, and then the man who was cooking sat down too.
He opened by telling us that he didn’t believe in these transgendered folks. That was a choice. He stuck with that topic for a while, then meandered on to Black Lives Matter and Hillary Clinton, with a brief detour at Putin taking out a hit on somebody.
Then we got into “this nation needs to go back to being Christian.” Well, I was a little tired of it all by then.
“Which Christian?” I asked. “Catholics aren’t so good at it. Episcopalians seem ok, but then again, they’re good with the gays. Methodists are pretty different from Southern Baptist, so how do you pick? Maybe we go with Jehovahs Witness so that we don’t waste any more time on federal holidays and we just work every day. Puritans didn’t celebrate Christmas.”
He looked at me. “Well I’ve never heard of puritans. Are they still around?”
The conversation veered into the Bible. Did you know that unicorns are mentioned 13 times in the Bible? “Maybe they meant rhinoceros,” I said.
“Can’t be. It says a one horned animal.”
“So…a rhino. Or maybe one of those Komodo dragons.”
Another local had sat down and agreed vehemently with me. The cook was adamant that it was a unicorn.
Slow Man and I thanked him for the food and left. Unicorns.
The rest of the hike was pretty easy. Lots of rhododendrons and little bridges and streams. I couldn’t get that conversation out of my head though. Sometimes I think there is a translation error in society. He reads “one horned animal” and thinks UNICORN and sees no other possibility. Good if you’re a fantasy novelist. Bad if you’re a preservationist in Africa.
Every sentence he said he looked at me with raised eyebrows, as if to say, “you see? There’s no other possible way to look at this. Logic and facts!” A sort of “aha!” With the eyes. But of course I didn’t see. I like separating church and government. And I don’t think the Bible meant unicorns, strictly speaking.
I made it to the shelter just after 4. I set up my bed and did chores, and then waited for Slow Man. He came in an hour or two later. Some snacks and tea later, and now I’m snug in my bag and ready for sleep.
I hope you can tell from this picture (and maybe I shouldn’t say anything) but this shelter was disassembled and moved from its original location. When it was put back together, some of the logs were put in upside down, so the graffiti is upside down. If you want to know WHY it was moved…google it.