Did you know that Frost wrote “The Road Not Taken” as a means of teasing his friend the poet Edward Thomas, who literally could not make up his mind which fork to take whenever the two went walking in the English countryside? Google “robert frost edward thomas the road not taken” and you’ll see what I mean.
An air of wistfulness enters into the final draft of the poem because Thomas, perhaps spurred by the joke at the heart of an earlier draft of it he’d read, went to fight in a war from which he never returned. “Way leads on to way,” and we don’t know if we will ever come back.
Any sentimentality in the poem originates entirely in the reader, for Frost was no sentimentalist.
He was a Modernist.
I’m not Modern. I’ve got a post-modern mind and a Romantic heart. I am sentimentality itself.
I wanted to spend some time alone with Elder, before his way led him away.
We met up at Magnolia Blossom Park.
Elder was like a blossom to all the teen bees.
But at last, we got a chance to talk just the two of us.
Elder gets so excited when he talks about movies and tv shows–it made me feel excited, too, just listening to him.
We got hungry, so I offered to grill up some lunch for us, and we jogged over to the picnic tables.
At that moment, I felt thankful that I’m a good cook. He’s a foodie.
I grilled up some veggie burgers. He loved them, and even took some pics of them to post to his twitterSim feed.
“Can I ask you something personal?” he asked. “And will you tell it to me straight?”
He asked me about woo-hoo.
“I haven’t had personal experience with it,” I told him. “The most I know about it is from reading. In fact, your family blog has shown me what it can be at its best. Your mom and dad–or better yet, your grandma and grandpa! Wow. There’s a story to make any space cowboy weak in the knees.”
Neither of us felt embarrassed yet, so I kept talking, as honestly and straightforwardly as I had always hoped some young adult would have answered me, back when I was a teen asking this question to every open-minded Sim I met.
“You know, I’ve realized recently that it’s ok with me if I never experience woo-hoo. It’s the deep connection I’m after, not the mutual activation of each other’s pleasure coding, and I can have that connection with other Sims without woo-hoo.”
“But if you ever do?” he asked.
I thought, but didn’t say, If I ever do, I hope it’s with you. In a year or two. Once you’re legal.
What I said instead was, “If I ever do, then it will be with someone that I love, someone I trust, someone with whom I can be so vulnerable that I can let that person see into my deepest coding.”
“Yeah,” he said. “I’d like that, too.”
We switched gears and played chess. We didn’t even finish the game because, well, we got kinda caught up looking at each other.
Soon it was time for him to head back to the B&B. I knew I’d see him there later that evening, for Gray and I were heading over there to meet the Alien family.
But still, after we hugged good-bye, I watched him walking down that fork in the path, and I thought about how way leads onto way.