It is snowing, a freak blinding storm that likely will shut things down for days. Thank God. Just last night under a clear winter sky, I had wished for a sign, or at least some kind of divine intervention between me and the matchmakers of the world all those well-meaning friends who are far more upset over my single status than I am. They drop by unannounced to offer me comfort and advice and descriptions of various men as if they were hot entrees on a silver platter.
Now I look out my window and see a very large foreign object in the blowing snow, a big white rusty truck parked in my side yard. I put on my heavy coat and boots and go out and circle it a few times. There are no tire tracks leading in or footprints leading away. No license plate or inspection sticker. The front bumper is a two-by-four. A wet note penned on a coffee-stained napkin is under the wiper: You, cute looking owner of the little scrappy dog, please don't tow or complain. I need you. Please. I'll be back soon.
I tug open the heavy iced-over door and climb up into the cab; as soon as I close myself in, all windows glazed in ice, I have the strangest feeling that I've been here before. I'm not a complainer, I tell him, and I hate to be around one. No key. Only a flashlight and lighter in the glove compartment, a pair of gloves on the dash, the thumbs cut out, palms stiff with resin and dirt. I sit there in the cab, stretch my legs, and feel an odd sense of comfort and warmth.
The truck smells of mildew and wood smoke, the floorboard frozen, and the seats damp and frosted as if he'd driven off road through the swamp. A thick-lipped coffee mug is wedged into the opened ashtray, and I run my fingers around the smooth stained rim. Behind the seat there is a big pair of hunting boots covered in red mud and muck. I reach my hands down into those tall sturdy boots and feel the worn thick wool, my body heat slowly absorbed and held there. I need you. Had he walked up to my door? Please. If so, he might have seen me through the sheers, painting my toenails and talking to my friend Sophie, telling her yet again about how I am not going to Swinging Singles Sing-along at her church. She's married--happily she says--but has made me her project. If he'd waited, he might even have heard me there under the sky saying those same words: Please, I need you to the powers of the great beyond.
I don't know what it is about a person all alone that drives other people crazy. I'm thinking we've heard too many Bible stories over the years--Adam and Eve (that match made in heaven). Or Noah's Ark, desperate pairs scurrying onto the Love Boat; a lesson reinforced by that Irish song we sang to death in grade school about the poor unicorn left crying on a rock because he didn't find somebody he wanted to live with for all eternity.
What's more, people seem to really hate it if you say you're happy alone. It makes Sophie so...