I believe in fairies.

There’s a little curvy road I turn on to enter the work parking lot the back way, and in one of the delightfully overgrown curves, there is a gnome with an orange/red hat that has been there for several months. Except. It’s not actually a gnome. It’s a traffic cone. I know that’s what it is, and yet, every day, I think, “Little gnome!” It looks like a little gnome with an orange/red hat hiding in the grass. Until I get closer and remember, “Oh, right, cone.” This is a huge letdown in my day. Why is there not actually a gnome hiding in the grass?

All of this was true until Monday. Monday I took the curve, actually anticipated the cone, and . . . nothing. No cone. No gnome. Just grass. I was gravely disappointed, because even if it wasn’t a gnome, Gilmore Girls has given me an unnatural affection for gnomes, and I enjoyed pretending the gnome was there. Even though he never was there. The point is that now he is definitely not there. Is it because, for the first time, I remembered that he wasn’t actually a gnome? Did my unbelief cause him to cease existing? Like Tinker Bell?

Except! Tuesday morning, the cone/gnome made a reappearance! He’s earlier on the road now, in the sun. I worry about this, because it’s summer. Isn’t it a little hot for him to be out in the sun? Maybe I should stop and move him back into the shade. Or give him a glass of water. Except he’s not a gnome. And if someone saw me giving a glass of water to a cone, they would probably be concerned about me. As well they should be.

I have been wondering what it says about me that I see pointy orange/red and think, “GNOME!” rather than the much more reasonable, “Cone.” Who does that?

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