April 20, 2009

The road not taken

When Robert Frost was writing, his choice, it appears, was between two routes, and he chose the one less traveled by. I live on one of those roads less traveled by, and yes, it has made all the difference. However, my choices, here in the 21st century, are far more vast and confusing.

Over the weekend, the Artist and I got lost in upstate New York so many times, all we could do was laugh. How else react when you call a hotel to ask directions, and they aren't sure of which little county routes are required to arrive there?

But I had thought, somehow, that she and I shared the road less traveled, until Sunday night when it became clear that, like route 9 upstate, there were several roads with similar names -- 9G, 9W, 9A and other permutations -- and underneath us, we did not have our feet on the same asphalt. We are, apparently, on different sides of the river.

For me it was if the roads had all upended, leaving me to fall out of the car, holding on -- to what, I don't know -- for sheer life. Had I misread the situation so completely? Failed to hear any of the warning signs? For she and I, it turns out, are not on the same road. For that I am sad and sorry. If hope is the thing with feathers, it may be a while before I can reconstruct mine.

Joni Mitchell echoes in my head: "I am on a lonely road and I am traveling, traveling, traveling, traveling. Looking for something, what can it be?....I want to have fun, I want to shine like the sun; I want to be the one that you want to see...." But I am not, apparently.

And, irony of ironies, we were making love in my bedroom just as the building manager whose bedroom wall adjoined mine, was busy dying. I know I am not supposed to think that way. But Monday I was shattered by Sunday night's phone call, and Tuesday morning, by a slip of paper shoved under my door.

You never know, do you, when is the last time you will see a person, or the last time you will make love with someone? When the two events hit so close together, it is a wonder anyone can stay on any road, more or less traveled, at all.

Bob Dylan had it right: "I would not feel so alone.....everybody must get stoned." A leaf from the new book at Alice's bedside table, and perhaps her new motto for this next season of brave new world. It may be the only way she can stay on this road, or any road, just to make it through another day, until she is healed.

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Blogger the only daughter said...

How odd that I saved this to read (in it's entirety) today...

I should explain and perhaps someday I will. For now, Peace to you. Peace.

5:45 PM  

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