Monday, May 17, 2010
#99 – ALONE AGAIN
And still in these days driving alone in Vermont I always keep in mind what was over in New Hampshire, where I know I have to go to follow the mystery of what went on back in that apparently sun-shiny place that might be tied to the darkness that became apparent years later – the bad ends these cousins of mine were coming to – and my late father and late uncle and still living mother and aunts as well, though it was easier to keep the failures of another generation at a distance than it was the failures in my own generation – like Margaret’s brother Fitz John, one of the favored ones, the family’s only Eagle Scout, who had kept being thrown out of places, Exeter, then Williams, for rather large scale thievery, and he seemed on the surface much like how everything in his mother’s house in Scarsdale seemed , as if put in place by Martha Stewart.
And I kept driving, and I kept stopping at those small state parks with lakes for swimming that were never more than a couple of hours apart, and I kept on going over to the that riding ring above Castleton for lessons in Western style riding from a raw-edge young woman in a family of people devoted to the little known world of competitive rodeos in Northeastern states. I kept going to the two big art galleries, the one in Rutland and the other to the south, still hoping, should I stay on here, that there would be more than sentimental barn paintings to sustain me.
And I thought of how in those wild meetings in Manhattan people had picked up on what on what a full, adventurous life I had had till now – and I wondered that I had hardly said a word about all the times I had been by myself, wandering the streets of lonely cities, often places where I did not speak the language. And I thought of the times I had thought I was in love, as well as the times between shallow relationships.
And I kept bringing myself back to my mission that was bring me so much life now, and so in my thoughts drifting to the past again and again between these trips I was making over to the White Mountains. And sometimes in my thoughts the White Mountains part would sometimes almost drift away, and I would be other places at other ages, not just the exotic lands I had chosen but often back in Weston, Connecticut, which I had recently looked in on in its current form as a tidy and costly rich man’s suburb. I would be there in my mind when it was still a basically New England town. When most of the men were not commuters, in fact most worked locally on small farms or places that were partial farms, on town road crews, and as journeymen small businessmen who built things and installed things and were paid to take care of what they had put in place.
And I was back in the World War II time when my parents became virtual farmers, the world’s least likely farmers, in order, they said, to get around food rationing, but now I wondered if they didn’t also have dreams not unlike the dreams my brother and I had once had of becoming such regular people that we might even be able to be farmers – farmers if our fantasy of running a log inn on a woodland road did not play out. For surely rationing had not been that tight an affair. We used to drive all the way up to New Hampshire in the green Plymouth convertible each summer, so gas rationing, anyway, could not be as strict as it sounded in the adults' complaints.