The news from Lake Comobegone

I haven’t walked around Como Lake in almost a month. Either the weather has been too stormy or I’ve been too tired, too busy, too something.

I’ve missed it. So last night I resolved to visit Como Lake today, no matter the weather or my mood.

Most people find it boring to walk in circles around a lake. I find it fascinating. I always see something new or unexpected.

The first unexpected sight came as I was approaching the parking lot. On the pavement in front of me, someone had spray-painted several bright-orange lines. Then I passed a makeshift memorial by the side of the road. Two young men lingered near the site.

I parked my car and approached them on foot. “Did you know the person?” I asked. “Yeah, I hung with him all the time,” said one of them. “What happened?” I asked. “Moped accident. On Tuesday night.” Their eyes were red from crying. I couldn’t think of anything comforting to say, except that I was sorry. Life is senseless sometimes.

To my surprise, they wanted to keep talking. They reminisced a bit about their friend. I told them about a guy I knew who had been killed by a drunk driver. We talked about how strange it feels to realize that you can be alive and well one second and dead the next. Pretty heavy stuff for a couple of kids on a Sunday morning. I hugged them both goodbye and wished them well. At least they have each other — and hopefully, lots of happy memories.

On my way back to the lake, I spotted a tundra swan in one of the golf course’s tiny man-made lakes. I hunched low in hopes of remaining unseen. I got within a couple hundred yards and was congratulating myself on my extraordinary stalking abilities, when it occurred to me that it might be made of plastic. I took a couple of photos anyway, just in case.

Shortly after spotting the “swan,” I thought I heard someone yell my name. It took me a couple of moments to recognize ol’ yeller as my friend Tom (aka, The Blogfodder). It was wonderful — and unexpected — to see him. We chatted for a bit and headed in opposite directions. We met again a few minutes later on the other side of the lake. I mentioned the swan to him. He’d noticed it too, and after much debate with his wife, they’d concluded that it was fake.

It’s a good thing I’m not hunting waterfowl to feed my family. “What’s for dinner?” Esteban might ask. “Decoys,” I’d reply. “Awwww, man!” he’d answer, “decoys, again?” Ha.

As I wrapped up my walk, I noticed that some of the icons that mark the walking path had gotten a makeover. One of them was wearing a rather dapper fedora.

A few others had been given permanent-marker vampire teeth or smiley faces. I stopped for a shot of this one, which looked like the work of Edward Gorey. Disturbing, but kind of endearing.

Well, that’s all the news from Lake Como for this week.

My heart goes out to the family and friends of Mike Denison. May he rest in peace.

One comment

  1. Lovely entry, H. Yesterday, on steamy Tuesday, I walked around Lake Como with my friend Michiela. We stopped often to admire things, especially the magical giant cottonwoods that line the lake, their leaves whispering in the muggy wind. So sad about the moped accident. A good walk is always full of so much, eh? Is always more than just a walk.

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