Tuesday, July 08, 2008


I was out running this morning (It's true! you people stop gasping, and you stop snickering). I turned down the bike trail that cuts through the center of town because it's a cool, wooded place that serves to conceal me from a large number of those likely to point and laugh.

Except then, I came to the Bridge. It's an old wooden bridge--describing it as an old railroad bridge with the train tracks taken out and slabs laid down so real people could travel across it would be exactly accurate. (The bike trail used to be a railroad line.) If I were in a more romantic mood, I would spend a couple of paragraphs describing said bridge in mythological terms. It's old, and worn down in the middle were probably hundreds of thousands of feet and bike wheels and snowmobiles have traversed it. It has a tendency to bounce and buckle when you cross it, just a bit, just enough to make you nervous.

Anyway, I stood in the middle of it and looked out in four directions, and realized it was sort of a four-dimensional crossroads. Before and behind me, running underneath the bridge, was Main Street in the place where it widens in preparation for becoming The Highway. To the north, it ran through the newly developed portions of town to said Highway, out past warehouses bearing the name of a grocery store and Walgreens and the Library, past the golf course where what pathetic Rich and Elite this town has hobnob with each other. Thus the new side of town.

About-face, and you see trees that were old when my father was young, buildings with gabled roofs hidden from the public by grandiose false fronts. Entire blocks of buildings squashed together in what, come to think of it, is probably an incredible firetrap. Old, roomy houses with honest-to-god towers built into them. The graveyard, neglected, its headstones crumbling into a dust comparable to that of their graves' inhabitants. And trolls. I can find no way to romanticize trolls. Thus, Old Town.

The other two directions were back and forward (relative to me) along the bike trail. Behind me lay Civilization--Kwik Trip, the investment office and antique shops and other businesses that make their homes here in town. Before me lay (at least, what looked like) The Wild. Trees of a rich green grew up and leaned out over the trail to form an arch under which the brown of the gravel trail ran, and it was a somehow richer brown for associating with all that Nature. The road beckoned to me with all the overblown symbolic virility of a womb symbol, or the Hero's Call to Adventure.

I wandered toward Nature, down that (as it were) Hero's Road, until I realized with regret that there were other things I wanted to do this day, and I went home.

(Now, there probably is some symbolic meaning I could draw forth from the above--that is, more than I have already hinted at. And by probably and some, I actually mean definitely and a ton. However, to go into it would be cruel to my readers, probably make them want to hurt me, and might actually lead to me wanting to hurt myself. So, in the interests of self-preservation and altruism, I will end here.)