Don’t make plans, he tells me? Don’t make PLANS? I have to make plans. I have literally ten generations of plans to make, and Daniel was the one plan I really felt good about.
But he’s gone, and Gizmo is cheerfully, faithfully unhelpful when I ask him what to do.
So I go home to seek answers, or at least a distraction in my dirt clumps and artifacts, and the one luxurious lamp I’ve allowed myself to purchase to furnish my perfect lot.
Then, I really splurge and buy a display case to document and briefly display my precious finds before I’m forced to sell them off.
To buy a door.
To start a home . . . for the errant knight in shining armor, who finally grows tired of waiting for the promised call, and decides to make one of his own.
I’m so grateful I could weep.
Instead, I propose.
And since we’re at the park, anyway . . .
I marry him on the spot.
It’s said that absence makes the heart grow fonder. I can attest to the truth of this, but I’d add that it also, and perhaps more importantly, makes the mind more decisive. Daniel and I are both spared endless dithering and anxiety on my part because the moment it looked as though I couldn’t have him, he became the only thing I was certain I wanted.
He keeps his pink llama sweater (because I love it), but grows out his hair and adds a scruffy beard over those baby-round cheeks. I give him dominion over the garden.
He wants to be a chef, but has to begin with the public grill. I promise him a kitchen as soon as it can be arranged.
Gizmo shows his loyalty to our new family member immediately. I’m grateful he doesn’t hold a grudge.
While Daniel tills the earth and mans the grill, I continue to seek out treasure.
For a moment I wonder if I’ve inadvertently achieved sainthood.
It turns out I’ve just acquired a skeletal assistant.
She’s quite silly, and Gizmo doesn’t know what to make of her, but it’s nice to not have to worry about the dishes for a few days.
Daniel is initially not excited to meet her.
But then realizes she can help with the painting I’ve asked him to take up (she inspires him! How lucky!), and household peace is restored.
I do a lot of fishing.
Gizmo naps near fish piles, and requires many baths.
Eventually, to assist with Daniel’s aspiration, we throw a bafflingly successful dinner party. Only a silver, as things done in groups of three don’t register as they should, but a silver is all we needed, and we walk around in a haze of pride for days. We don’t even have walls, but Diego Lobo himself said he had a lovely time! He hopes he’ll be invited again!
Daniel’s plants grow.
And Gizmo finds more fish piles. But I come to realize more and more that I’m only working to save enough for another few days’ stay in Selvadorada. The jungle still calls to me, and as I grow more confident in listening to the small voice inside me that does actually seem to know what it wants, I accept that my days as an adventurer are not over.
So we return.