I'm often curious about how much of the real story slips past. I was recently thinking about the Ecoscape at my alma mater, Birmingham-Southern College. It's a lovely and intriguing botanical garden, with hiking trails, trash art (huge shiny insects and such made of refuse) and a high treehouse of which I'm fond. I haven't visited the Ecoscape in years, but it's a happy place in my memories. Anyway, my friend Matthew, who was my college roommate, helped build it. I was oddly oblivious to it at the time; he talked about it (he called it the Ecoplex) but I wasn't good at engaging what people said back then. But he was putting his heart and soul into it; as president of the campus enviromental organization he was pivotal in the preperation and the persperation involved in turning an undeveloped field into an artful garden peppered with sculpture.
Here's the part that makes this cool to me: he was doing all this partly for a grade, but mostly to take his mind off an ex-girlfriend. Years later the woman in question visited the Ecoscape as a returning alum, and took some lovely digital snapshots of the gardens. When Matthew and I perused these photos he commented that she didn't know the Ecoscape was in no small measure a monument to her, or at least to his feelings about her.
Matthew and the ex-girlfriend are now happily married, although not to each other.
Anyway, I think it's too bad most people who visit or even work at the Ecoscape will never know about these sentimental layers undergirding the gardens. But that's true of most places, isn't it? There are so many stories we'll never know about the places where we live.
Matthew, please don't cave my skull in and bury me in the Ecoscape for telling this story.