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I remember the anticipation the most. I was sure he would come. And when he did, the times we'd have. Crazy, dancing in the summer rain times, his spirit ever buoyant, ever bearing me up, eating ramen noodles with fried eggs and salsa at midnight, our only car on the blitz and it didn't matter. We would laugh hysterically on the kitchen floor because I thought for a moment it did.

The degree of passion adjusts itself to match the passion with which it is met.

When the day would begin anew, the commuters would congregate in cement buildings and push imaginary numbers around with pencils and adding machines. It seemed better to call in sick and go canoeing.

Whenever I felt nervous or ashamed, I would remind myself that there are black holes in the universe and unimaginable light pouring forth from unknown stars and those caught up in cares about college transcripts, car registrations and credit scores clearly weren't seeing the big picture.

On the lake, reflections of clouds and maple trees and lily pads made everything look like Monet breathing. We'd sing Beatles songs while gliding under the channel vines that formed anarchy symbols, the effervescent bubbles of our youth fizzing up into bliss. We thought it could always be like this. We didn't know, even then we were dying.

The day after we moved into that old house I had such a sense of déjà vu when I peed in the upstairs bathroom while you made coffee and sang, Good Morning, Star Shine, the way those milk crates were stacked in the hallway, the way the light fell on the checkered linoleum, your burgundy tube socks with yellow stripes flung next to the tub, one inside out, the faded yellow curtain moving slowly in the late morning breeze, the sound of a dog barking a few doors down. I'd been here before. I knew I would marry you.

We'd have two girls, or maybe life would surprise me and we'd have a boy. The girls we would name Bridget and Charlie. Or Katie and Sam, but Sam we'd always call Pooga because of time she got pink eye and reminded me of the pink pillow cat I had when I was a kid.

As the years wore on, we'd somehow let ourselves get sucked into that world of imaginary numbers and we'd fight about car repairs and credit scores. You'd start drinking and eventually cheating. I'd have another one of my famous breakdowns and the kids would go stay with my sister for a few days. We'd pull it together, the way people who feel they have no choice pull things together and we'd manage. We'd get by and by and by until you died.

This is the road not taken.


( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 21st, 2008 05:01 am (UTC)
Nov. 21st, 2008 05:10 am (UTC)
That was awesome. Thanks for posting!
Nov. 21st, 2008 05:22 am (UTC)
intricate and vivid and moving
Nov. 21st, 2008 05:50 am (UTC)
Nov. 21st, 2008 06:11 am (UTC)
Wow. Thank you for sharing that.
Nov. 21st, 2008 10:37 am (UTC)
I'm not sure if this is now good or bad?
Nov. 21st, 2008 10:40 am (UTC)
And I don't mean written good or bad. It's brilliant. I was referring to the contents.
Nov. 21st, 2008 01:43 pm (UTC)
I understand what you're saying. I'm not sure if it's good or bad either.
Nov. 21st, 2008 11:34 am (UTC)
You just took my breath away. At 6:33 am.
Nov. 22nd, 2008 03:49 am (UTC)
That's quite a compliment, thank you.
Nov. 21st, 2008 02:42 pm (UTC)
goodness. wow.
Nov. 21st, 2008 02:56 pm (UTC)
So honest.
Nov. 21st, 2008 04:13 pm (UTC)
Wow, what a great piece of writing. I'm glad it has a happy ending (because I can't imagine how unhappy you'd be if you HAD taken that road). That last line was great.
Nov. 21st, 2008 08:16 pm (UTC)
Nice work. Cheers.
Nov. 21st, 2008 09:52 pm (UTC)
very memory poking piece -- so many roads not taken -- makes me wonder if, in the end, they wouldn't all have converged back to the one taken...
Nov. 22nd, 2008 03:49 am (UTC)
You know, I hope they do.
Nov. 22nd, 2008 12:54 am (UTC)
Beautiful piece and great concept. I really enjoyed reading this.
Nov. 22nd, 2008 06:44 am (UTC)
wow. *captivated* i couldn't stop reading that til the last line.

thank you for that.
Nov. 23rd, 2008 02:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing...it's wonderful to read. I've not read much lately besides my psych book and i'm so done with it i could scream.
Nov. 23rd, 2008 06:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you.
Nov. 23rd, 2008 05:21 pm (UTC)
This was really great, thanks for sharing. It plays into what a lot of us want/fear/need/dread/love.
Nov. 25th, 2008 03:44 am (UTC)
Nice work!
Nov. 25th, 2008 05:53 am (UTC)
What a lovely piece of writing. I think a lot about where I might be right now if only for one little change in how I got here. It makes my current life seem so much more precious, and so fragile, for it would have taken so little to make it all turn out differently... or maybe not.
Nov. 26th, 2008 01:55 am (UTC)
I try to have faith that everything happens (or doesn't happen) for a reason....
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )