Walking back to Brook and Gian’s house, up the main drag of Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, NC, I see a way to make it easier. Cut through the woods.
Some folks may think I’m a bit nutty. I prefer “fearless.” Hell, why not? I recognize their house, surrounded by a wooden fence and short patch of woods nearby.
It’s their hood, right? Their new community.
Walking between their wooden fence and a small hidden house, which I hope to scurry past without anyone seeing me.
No such luck: “Hello, hello!” a woman smoking a cigarette on the screened-in porch calls out. “Stay right there. He’ll be right out,” she says.
A hefty young guy emerges from the side door.
“That’s my daughter’s house over there,” I say, pointing to it. “I’d just like to try taking a shortcut through the woods.” He looks dubious.
“I’m visiting and I’ll only do it this once,” I tell him. He still looks dubious.
“I don’t know what’s back there. Could be spider webs, all sorts of stuff,” he says.
What can I do but pull the Maine woods card?
“That doesn’t scare me. I’m from Maine. I’m used to the woods. But that’s okay,” I give in. “I’ll walk up the road.”
“I love Maine,” he says, sounding way more comfortable.