As I read the article, I realized it wasn't as much embarassing slander as it was an olive branch. After all, I'd only heard from her once in the past decade, when my son died. This wasn't an expose about what a jerk I was by any means. She had wrtten about times we had camped out together with friends, drinking around a fire until the wee hours of the morning. There were words about the times I had lied to her, and about the times when I was most honest. I saw pictures of me waking up in my sleeping bag and being handed a beer, pictures of her underwater in a blue dress, and a brief sub-article about a snowboard company that had made an east-coast and west-coast version of the same board in honor of this article. Regardless of all of the craziness it will inevitably cost, I honored, flattered, and looking forward to the ensuing conversation.
The picture of me in the sleeping bag sparked a memory, as if it had turned into a video right there on the page, with some guy telling me "Schleicher! Schleicher! You gotta get up, bud!" He was smiling as he gently handed me my red solo cup. A fire team was hiking by on their way back from a training exercize, and a quiet fog nestled the New England wildnerness where we were camping out. I remember smiling, content, and the chill wasn't too bad at all.
It was a good day, years ago.