Apeiron Review | Issue 17

Page 48

A Road Not Taken J.G.P. MacAdam “Yes, Miss Daisy, headin’ on down the road… What you thinkin’ about? Huh? Ah…you don’t think nothin’—do ya? You just like stickin’ your head out the window—don’t ch’ya, girl? Don’t ch’ya? Yeah you do…” The man turned down the lane into town, passing by a petite square of a cemetery; overgrown and enfolded within the keeping of an old willow whose tendrils only half-hid the weather-worn faces of the graves.

hair all a mess—wasn’t it, Miss Daisy? And the way she was walkin’—just slidin’ her furry booties across the ground. Face in her phone. What’d her shirt say? Pink? She didn’t look too pink or hip to me…not happy a’tall…just pitiful.” Daisy made no comment, only whining and stepping her paws as they neared Jeb’s Pet Shop. “Oh yeah, you know that place, don’t ch’ya, Daisy? Don’t ch’ya? Yes, you do. I wonder if Izzy’s in there workin’…” The man slowed to try and peer in the window, but caught no sight of who manned the counter. Daisy restless in her seat, whining again, shaking her bushy tail. “Ah, don’t ch’you bother now, Miss Daisy.” The man drove on. “We won’t go in there t’day. No need. No, now calm on down, girl. That’s it. Calm down…Yes, you can get a treat when we get home…”

“Someone oughta cut that grass,” mentioned the man. Not looking towards the graves, though he knew the shape of each one. Interrupting his own thoughts before they spoiled his mood: “Yes, we’re gonna have ta take this ol’ truck to Petey’s on Wednesday—ain’t we, girl? Ain’t we? Yeah, listen to that clutch. We’re gonna hafta get ol’ Petey ta take a look at her…” The man drove into town. Turning down one street, up another. He liked driving around town about this time of day, when most of the townsfolk were out taking their evening strolls, or going to the gas station to grab a gallon of milk, or stopping to gaze in a merchant’s window. He liked looking at the people.

The man idled at the stoplight, even as it turned green, watching the people stroll by. “Look at that there motorcycle guy, Daisy. You see him?” Daisy popped her head out the window again. “He looks right roughhewn, don’t he? That scraggly beard a’ his…that scuffed leather jacket… those boots…that glare in his eyes…that smoke risin’ out passed his lips…Wonder where he’s been? What sights he’s seen on that dirty ol’ bike a’ his…Though I wouldn’t wanna get caught down the end of some dark road with the likes of him, that’s for sure…” The man felt a little sad as he circled around

“Well, look at her, Miss Daisy…” Daisy tucked her head in and bobbled her eyes at him, then out the windshield. “You see her? Look at that lady walkin’ there. There she goes…what d’you think of her? Huh? She looked pretty downtrodden didn’t she? Her 48