Two roads diverged | Front Porch | Indy Week
Pin It

Two roads diverged 

On a gorgeous, bright, windows-open, radio-blasting, Carolina afternoon last week, there I was bouncing down the highway off to pick up my daughter at soccer practice.

Up ahead, through the pollen haze, loomed a lumbering yellow orange bus. Not an ordinary bus. This bus looked like Ken Kesey's Further, the travel choice of the Merry Pranksters as they criss-crossed California in 1960's, spreading their message of joy, rock 'n' roll, and freedom. It looked like a mirage.

With exploding sunsets and dreamy landscapes splashed on its sides, this bobbing blimp of fun reeked of adventure and dare. The rest of us, well, we were in the carpool lanes, the checking-in, what's-for-dinner, cell-phone lanes. The bus said "Margaritaville" as its destination.

I knew Jimmy Buffet was in town, the same way you know about that new hot teen movie starring that girl opening this weekend, that play on campus with that visiting Oscar winner, that Louie was going pro. Info crawl, the leisure scrawl, always out there. But this bus right in front of me was much more real. It was like a time warp.

But I had responsibilities, miles to go before I rested.

My turn was ahead, I flipped on my blinkers. Psychedelic! Right before my eyes, the Magic Bus took the same turn.

And again, a few miles later, it turned, I turned. We were now out in the country, on winding Orange County roads. Just me and that party wagon rolling round the bends. We paired off again, veering right this time. I thought of my daughter waiting for a cold Gatorade, my dogs "protecting" the house waiting for their scoop of Purina.

Just a mile from the soccer fields, the Margaritaville bus turned left at a tiny RV Park sign. I'd driven that road 100 times and never seen that sign. It was like Harry Potter's Platform 9 1/2. I slowed down, peering down that road. It seemed to go on forever. Who knew what awaited visitors at the end? But there went the bus. An orange ball now, bumping confidently through the greens and browns of rural Orange County.

I waved, remembering a time when, on a whim, a carload of us, out to get ice cream after a movie in Chapel Hill, decided to go to the beach instead. We awoke, sleeping on the sand in Wilmington.

Five minutes later, I'm loading and unloading sports bags and back bags, smiling, and repeating the mantra, "So, honey, how was your day?"

Latest in Front Porch

More by John Valentine

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Front Porch

  • One vote

    • Nov 12, 2014
  • Box of one

    Was I paying to be helped or to feel important, a bona fide expert on only myself?
    • Sep 24, 2014
  • The Old South (Hills)

    The Old South (Hills)

    • Sep 17, 2014
  • More »


Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

'Anna Lee' is a truly beautiful song, Ms Dossett. And I love Levon Helm's rendition. You are blessed with a …

by Byron Miller on A song for Levon (Front Porch)

Just now seeing this....Liz and I were super close friends in the early 80s. She was so special. I had …

by RoBert 1 on In memoriam: Liz Holm, 1959–2013 (Front Porch)

Nobody will be surprised to learn that Hocutt never went to Nam. He was in the Navy but washed out …

by Jefflenter on Raleigh bad boy no more (Front Porch)

I see his concern. Yes, it was a well written story and showed his caring side for sure. But not …

by Linda Bates Terrell on Motorcycle men (Front Porch)

Follow-up to my "nervous mom" comment. The last coupe of weeks we have been in many situations with individuals that …

by paulapowers on Governor's School blues (Front Porch)

Comments

'Anna Lee' is a truly beautiful song, Ms Dossett. And I love Levon Helm's rendition. You are blessed with a …

by Byron Miller on A song for Levon (Front Porch)

Just now seeing this....Liz and I were super close friends in the early 80s. She was so special. I had …

by RoBert 1 on In memoriam: Liz Holm, 1959–2013 (Front Porch)

Most Read

  1. Dot-con (Peripheral Visions)
  2. Smug Revisionism (Letters to the Editor)

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation