I’m Still Seeing Yellow Leaves..


The Road Less Traveled

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/the-road-less-traveled/

Pinpoint a moment in your past where you had to make a big decision. Write about that other alternate life that could have unfolded.

I’ve posted something before on this theme – I know because one of my favorite poems by Robert Frost always leaps to mind when I see that title.   

roadnottaken

 

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theodysseyonline.com

But.  

 

The other post wasn’t couched in the terms they’ve offered us today.   Writing about that unchosen alternative life that we didn’t take..

Once when I was young (yes once I WAS young); and again when I was a bit older I was offered something – a version of a life that I thought I lost when I was REALLY young.  And when I was really young I actually WANTED this alternative life.  The young can be so obtuse.

I took the road MORE traveled actually.  That’s the one I chose in this version of reality that I’m living in right now.

But I’ll write about what I think my life MIGHT have been, had I chosen that other road.  Gone exploring.

I’ve always wanted to be an artist (dancer, singer, painter, WRITER)…do something artistic.  And I’ve dabbled with most all forms of artistic expression.   I’ve made stained glass pieces, I’ve etched a glass plate, I’ve painted and I’ve sung and I’ve danced.  

All dabbles though – never followed them through, nor really TRIED to become a dancer or singer (professionally…I’m not egotistical enough to imagine I really have the talent for those); and the art (painting, drawing, sketching, graphic design) has been proven to be sub-standard (to my own stringent standards anyway). 

But when I was about 39 or 40 I had occasion to be offered the chance to leave my ‘real’ life and go with some people and devote myself 24/7 to artistic endeavor of whatever flavor I wanted – I could paint or sculpt (I suck at sculpting…clay and marble ain’t my media) — I could just sit on my ass and contemplate my navel all day if I wanted.   I could and was heartily encouraged to WRITE.  I would have my own studio area and materials would be provided for me.

Of course there was a price tag.   Utopia doesn’t come free.  I would make myself available 24/7 for a certain man’s um..pleasure.   I would put something of a monetary nature into the communal pot.   

I have known this man for 36 years.  Since I was 19.  I’ve written about him in some blogs and now I’ve erased my connection with him.  I wouldn’t have it back either and I won’t, should a third offer come along now.  But this is about that OTHER alternative life isn’t it? Not about reality.

The man in question is insane.  My opinion only.   I doubt any professional has ever been able to categorize him, given that a professional (mental health) could get an interview with him in the first place.   The man is adept at chameleon behavior.  He CAN appear sane.  Most of the time he does and maybe in those instances he IS.  But those who know him well can see the mask and how the edges curl away and what is underneath is not to be voluntarily sought out.

My soul has cried out in terror every time I’ve contemplated being with that man in any permanent sense.  It has been so since maybe the third or fourth time I even went out with him.   My heart and brain over-rode the soul screaming though, and I continued to be connected with him for a very long time.   Until I started listening to my soul and knew I had to severe the ties permanently.   Can’t say I’ve been sorry either.   

Why is it so hard to put to paper (computer bits are more accurate) that untested life??  

Okay >deep breath < here it goes:

For a time I would be contented with my new life.   Even excited and in a version, happy I suppose.   I would be creative.  I would write the Great American Novel.   And start on a second and third that are going to do as well as the first.   I would paint several paintings and all would be very well received by the art world.   For a time everything I touch in that way will be GOLDEN.   I can’t fail, I’m on top.   Woo Hoo!!

Then.

One night he visits me.  He brings his wife or his current girlfriend, and we have one of the encounters he thrives on.   That he LIVES for.  No harm.  Until one or the other of us says the wrong thing.   Does the wrong thing.   Until he takes offense at something nobody said at all, but which he perceived as an insult or slight to his manhood.   And at the time that this would have taken place, he is beginning to slow down.   It comes to EVERYONE, but I doubt he sees it that way.  The inevitable decay of the flesh with the passage of time, the inability to perform as he wants EVERY time, the changes that age brings – are someone else’s fault.  Always.  Not his.  He can’t accept that HE might be the cause of his own failing. That his body is aging and he is no longer the sexy man that can charm any woman he cares to have into submission.

Then the monster comes out.  Is let loose.  I don’t think he can control it as well as he could a year ago; and even less than five years before that, and nowhere near the control he had when I first knew him.  And as a result, someone is hurt because someone’s gotta pay.  Beaten, bloodied, terrified in their SOUL that they are going to finally die.   Screaming.  Because it is their fault that he can’t perform or doesn’t perform as well as he wants and expects.   He will try more and more perverted and painful and insane ways of rousing his dying libido.   When they cease working, I have to wonder, is killing someone outright the only way he’ll get aroused at all? 

So.

In that version of life, I do exactly what I did in this version of my life – I take my spoils of war (whatever money or valuables I’m able to hide from him and keep for myself – he OWNS everything you know.   All my creation belongs to him.  All the reward received from those creations belongs to HIM.   I belong to HIM.  I’m alive because he ALLOWS IT)  I take my spoils and I start to plan my escape.    I run far away.   I change my name.  I change my looks.  I change my habits.  Self preservation is a stronger urge than love or loyalty.

I spend an inordinate amount of time looking over my shoulder.   I obsessively move around from tiny town to tiny town, from state to state, if I were braver, from country to country if I dared; always looking over my shoulder.  And because I’m looking back so much, I lose the ability to look FORWARD.   My creativity dies with my hope and security.    I never produce another thing in my whole life, because if he read it, or saw the art or even smelled a hint, he’d find me and I cannot have that!  Because this time he will kill me, because I defied him and ran away.  I DARED to imagine a life where he didn’t rule me.  I am, to his mind, a failed experiment and I must be erased.

I shrink and turn in on myself, and shut myself off and lock myself up so he can’t ever find me.   Can’t get me.  Can’t hurt me anymore.  Can’t KILL me.

That’s what I believe would have happened if I’d ever taken that road less traveled.  Frankly, it was a no-brainer to choose this life.  

6 thoughts on “I’m Still Seeing Yellow Leaves..

  1. I think my guardian angel was watching out for me, because when I was very young I thought that whole life would be the greatest thing ever (minus the abuse and the mind games of course). He did inspire me and make me a better version BEFORE his true nature revealed itself. I just never felt safe enough with him to stay permanently though.

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  2. I used to draw a lot in art class and I wish I continued on the artistic path. I did in a way as I went on to become a compositor in the printing world. I was amazed how times had changed recently when everything is now of course typed out on a computer. When I started it was mostly all hand set work.

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    1. Strange that. Hubby started out in life doing that exact same job Glyn. His father was the early version of a forensic photographer and eventually opened a print shop in a small California town. Hubby was a type and print setter. Small world, huh! 🙂

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