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Out for a lazy Sunday drive to enjoy the electric spark of fall in the air, I came to a once-gated community no longer protected. Turning into the property I drove only a short distance before coming to a covered bridge. The community seemed to be a haphazard attempt at pseudo-Elizabethean-ish design. I assume this covered bridge was meant to be cottage-like and to remind people of simpler times; times when people paused for their neighbor's carriage, allowing others to first pass through the single lane before trotting your horses across. I must have slowed as I passed over the bride, trying to see more clearly the exposed roof beams constructing the cover, when, unlike the friendly folk of 'yore, some jackass in a monstrous Hummer H3 honked loudly and swerved wildly around my car in utter annoyance at the delay.

Regardless of Mr. Big Balls H3 I still found the bridge beautiful and was immediately transported to our college apartment. Having completed my 60-minute morning ritual, I wake her up five minutes before our class starts and walking through the rainy campus we engage in detailed conversations about this week's Shakespeare play we were both assigned to read but invariably I am the one who finishes it.

I was at Stonehenge taking goofy pictures with her, thinking that looking overly confused next to the Celtic monument of myth and lore is hysterically funny and proud that our joke is now captured on film. This process of nerdy hysteria is repeated in Dorchester as we pretend to be famous Jane Austen characters while standing on an obscure street corner no one but a true bibliophile would recognize as critically important to the cannon of English literature.

I was in Vermont visiting both her family and the 19th century mansion she called home and loved so profoundly. We were hiking through rolling hills, spending endless hours swimming in the chilly river as we slid down mossy rocks approaching the waterfall. Our car windows rolled down, the world smells green, Dar serenades a folk tale of Christians and Pagans, and we cross bridge after covered bridge on our way to nowhere in particular.

I miss her.

On the Road Again | Washington, D.C.

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