So I did my romantic Valentine’s thing, finally, on Saturday night.
If you’re not familiar with Atlanta, we have a very large chunk of granite that goes by the clever name of Stone Mountain. Once a council location for Indians, the mountain’s since had all kinds of white trash deposited on it, from a giant carving of Confederate generals to an amusement park at the bottom. In the summer there’s a nightly laser show, with laser cartoons projected onto the bare rock accompanied by corny music and fireworks. But it’s still reasonably natural at the top, with one of the best views of the city to be had anywhere, and the weather on Saturday was beautiful.
So we had a late night picnic. The crowds were sparse, and nobody would have seen us anyway. (Recent discovery: Callie will become invisible fairly quickly if she’s small enough to fit in my pocket.) ((Other recent discovery: Scaling a thirty-degree uneven granite slope is slightly scarier at night, when you’re invisible, wearing a bulky backpack, and very afraid of falling forward because your girlfriend is in your pocket.))
We admired the view at the top for a while, then backtracked to a little crevice in the rock, sheltered almost completely by an overhang. It was a nice cozy place for Callie and the backpack to become visible and to lay out our picnic. (I’d entertained some thoughts of eating on top of General Lee, but the climb would have been too difficult.)
I cooked for this. There are a very few dishes I’m good at, and spicy meatballs are among them. The spaghetti stayed warm in a big Thermos bottle, and the wine stayed chilled in an ice bag, and the dinner was quite excellent, if I may be less than humble. We talked and we laughed, and Callie forgot entirely that she was mad at me.
After we’d eaten we walked around the mountain some more – not really caring if anyone was there to see Callie – and held hands. Once again I got the feeling of being watched. I mentioned this to Callie, and she felt it too. “Ghosts, maybe?” she said, and I wasn’t sure she was serious. “People have been on this mountain for, what, ten thousand years?”
“Do you still want to..?”
“Hell yes!” she said. “Let’s give the ghosts something to watch!”
We eventually went back to the crevice. In the backpack, with the food, was a sleeping bag.
When we woke up Sunday it was raining. And we were both invisible. Getting down the mountain on the slippery rock was more complicated than going up, but we managed it slowly. Nobody was there except park staff, and we decided not to worry about anyone who saw raindrops deflecting from a pair of human shapes. We’d just give them another ghost story to tell.
We spent most of the rest of Sunday in Jon & Jenna’s living room, in front of their fireplace, drinking a lot of hot cider. Callie had to leave after dinner, but she made it very clear to me that she enjoyed it. (Jenna, spying us at the front door: “Ewww! Seeing half of a French kiss is not attractive.")
And today I’m quite sure that I caught a cold again, running about in the rain, but you know what? I don’t care.
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