(from bedroom porch)

The old Neilochka was urban, only comfortable in New York or Los Angeles. The old Neilochka was an effete metrosexual, afraid of nature.

The old Neilochka arrived at the lakeside cabin in Cheshire, Massachusetts yesterday afternoon.

1) Neilochka refused to walk to the lake because “of all the bugs.”

2) Neilochka was scared of chasing the geese from the lawn because “they might bite.”

3) Neilochka acted like he knew it all, just because he spent some summers at “sleep-away camp.”

For example, Neilochka and his mother had this conversation last night while sitting on the cabin’s back porch:

Neil: “Did you see the firefly?”

Mom: “Where?”

Neil: “There!”

Mom: I didn’t see it.

Neil: “You have to look closely. You see the light go on and then quickly go off. There it is!”

Mom: “Are you sure that’s a firefly?”

Neil: “Of course I am. What else could it be?”

Answer: Sophia sitting in the dark nearby, opening and closing her LED-lit cellphone to read her email on Yahoo.

That was Neilochka yesterday. A total country-living novice.

Today, he woke up a different man.

As he opened his eyes, he saw the lake just outside his window. He heard the birds. He dragged a row boat from the lake and turned it over when it started to rain.  He fearlessly chased some geese away. He picked berries on a farm. He cooked meat. He stopped being a Californian and became a sturdy New Englander. He drank beer with Herman Melville. He wrestled with Edith Wharton. He made love to Emily Dickinson on her kitchen floor, then showed her how to blog using WordPress. He stood on his cabin’s balcony after Sophia and his mother were fast asleep. He was naked to the stars — a new man born.

He also went to Tanglewood to hear a chamber orchestra and had a good latte in Lenox, MA — but he thought that sounded wimpy and didn’t fit in with the theme of the post.

A Year Ago in Citizen of the Month:  Blinded by Science Project