This Thing Called Courage

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Icky Creepy Underpants Tree

THERE IS A PLACE I PASS ALMOST EVERY DAY on my morning walk down to Happy Land and back with Fionn, which I call 'The Road to Nowhere.' (See pic)
I first noticed it several winters ago. As one walks along the Fellsway, if you keep a sharp eye, you'll see these old guard rails in the woods, (right near where the milkweed grows) and then, just beyond that and running perpindicular to the road, this clearly delineated old road, (which actually might have been an old railroad bed) going straight off into the woods-- too straight to have not been made by people. It's quite striking in that its lined on both sides with beautiful white birches. It goes straight into the woods about 200 yards, and then ends abruptly at roaring Route 93-- which it obviously predates-- but I suspect it may have been the old streetcar line that, way back when, used to carry city people out to Happy Land for a day's sylvan delights, when governments still cared about such things for its citizens. Because there are railroad tracks in Happy Land, here and there, and I've found out that there was once such a line taking people into Happy Land, from Wellington Station, I believe. I think it skirted the eastern and northern edges of Spot Pond, then cut across the Fellsway here.

Anyway, when I first discovered this 'Road to Nowhere,' it was around sunset of a cold winter's afternoon, just getting dark, and I was on my way home from having taken a long walk to Happy Land with my dear departed Biscuit. It was a day or two after a snowstorm, and we had gone up to a deserted Happy Land where we danced in the snowy fields to the music of Dead Can Dance, which was playing on my CD Walkman. On the way home, we saw the 'Road to Nowhere' and decided to check it out. It's somewhat overgrown now, as it was that winter's twilight evening, and we went down, and down, wondering what we might find at its end. About halfway along, I was surprised to see what seemed to be bright colors coming from somewhere at the end-- pinks and baby blues and bright whites. We got closer and, yes, undoubtedly, there were many colorful objects just ahead. Soon we discovered what they were-- old ladies' underpants, about twenty or thirty pair, tied and dangling from this one particular tree. They were all different sizes and shapes, and were in various degreees of decomposition-- some looked fairly new, while others were clearly old, and old fashioned. I can't tell you how much this creeped me out! I could almost hear the 'Deliverance' banjo playing in the woods all around me, and, making matters worse, I looked down into the gulley that runs beside the Road to Nowhere, and saw what I was sure was a freshly mounded earthern grave-- the whole thing looked like something you'd find in the back woods of West Virginia, outside a serial killer's house. Creepy!!!! I suppose this was like three or four years ago-- maybe more. Anyway I told a few of my friends about it, and they suggested I call the police-- which I never did. Last year me and Scotty were taking a walk along there, and I told him the story, and then we went to look at it again-- but the icky creepy old lady underpants tree was nowhere to be found.
In other news, work goes on apace on my new novel, Lucky in Love. It's rather different in that one of the main characters is a 200 year old Silver Maple tree. I've got about 100 pages done thus far. I'm also working on a children's story in which a city subway, quite uncharacteristically, doesn't stop at the usual urban stations but instead brings people out into the deep woods, onto mountain tops, and into the heart of the rain forest.

I've got a few gigs coming up-- March 9 at Pride and Joy Bookstore in Northhampton, Massachusetts, at 8:00 pm, and the next day at 6:00 pm for a potluck to be followed by a reading/signing at 7:00 pm for the Brattleboro, VT Men's Program, which will be held at a place called 'Menspace' in that lovely city. Both events are open to the public. On Thursday evening, April 26, I will be at the Barnes and Noble in Saugus, Massachusetts, for a reading/signing event. Please come to any and all events, if you can.


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