I am free!

by Ronald A Pavellas

She was a very nice lady, looking for a nice guy,
Which is how I am.

Our yentas wanted us to meet over dinner,
So we went to the expensive place in Anchorage
Down the hill from their aerie
Where all the other birds of their class eat.

I was fascinated by this temporary prison,
This suddenly familiar place
Where one is conscious of an ineffable aura,
Some badge of rank
Surrounding each table, each person.

They were all there:
The supremely confident old lion,
The long-suffering matron sliding into her age,
The young buck sizing up the competition,
The sleekly groomed, aspiring trophy wife,
The lawyers scanning for clients,
The wannabes sucking up,
The credulous observers, amazed to find themselves
In such high-toned company.

And me.

I didn't have an agenda.
I was curious to see if I could recognize a few faces
After these dozen years away.

I saw a few, or thought I did.
They were faces one sees in San Francisco,
In Oakland, in Dallas, in L.A. and its subsidiaries.
My face was not there.

My date was a gentle part of this.
She was comfortable with the old ways of courting:
The man pays, takes quiet control of the situation.

She seemed ready for adventure,
But I didn't make my move.
Even after a few hours of talk, later, at her place.

Her world is alien to me now.
A world of many things, complicated social situations,
Of interlocking relationships with no meaning for me.

She is bright, energetic, loving, open.
She has daughters, a former husband, many friends,
Her family in another city,
The first grandchild that draws her away from here.

It is anomalous.
We see things similarly, being of an age together.
It is comfortable, like family.
But the setting is alien: the city.

I'm a person of a small place now.
No more city for me.
I'm just who I am, and no more or less,
Living alone in the tiny, remote place
At the end of the road.

I am free!

At the "End of the Road" in Homer. Alaska


Posted on 02/01/2002
Copyright © 2023 Ronald A Pavellas

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