A Fork In The Road
by Herschel Cozine
The clouds scudded overhead in a mindless race to—where? The rising sun painted them a brilliant pink, red and orange. Nora would have loved it. And so, at one time, would I.
But today I cared nothing about them as I drove down the deserted country road. My old car, barely surviving the morning chill, chugged with an asthmatic growl, bringing me closer to my destination.
Destination? Like the roiling clouds above, I had no destination. I stared through the soiled windshield, straining to see the road ahead in the surreal light of dawn.
I came to a fork in the road, one I had traversed thousands of times before. I braked the car to a shuddering halt. The south road led to Centralville, the largest town in the county, a pleasant if ordinary town that only the locals knew about. The north road led to—nowhere really. A deserted rock quarry. A miner’s shack, long abandoned. A dead-end road. No one ever used it anymore. No one except those who had despaired of life and found refuge in the solace of silence and aloneness. And death.
I looked at the magnificent clouds with awareness for the first time. They were as breathtaking as a Rembrandt masterpiece. If only Nora were here to share the beauty. Now, the clouds were only bleak reminders of better times. Nevertheless I would follow them as they careened across the sky.