That Ole Road of Life, Maybe

One day I walked a piece down the road; it warn’t no road of any consequence, see -just an ordinary one with rocks and dirt.

Photo by Onanini on

But mostly dirt.

It were the people I come across what were special. The people are always what makes a road interstin’ (I say) and the people in this case were nothin’ short of that.

First, a-course, was an old woman all full of tales an woes an mind-yer-manners. I brushed her off, also a-course, cause I know more an’ my elders -but the one thing about her I recall was her eyes. She grabbed at my face, see, with her hands; and she stared right into my eyes with hers. I telled right off she was dumb-blind. -On account of her milky gaze hoverin’ somwehere round my shoulder.-

“You take note” she said; or maybe it was, “Watch the road;” or maybe somethin’ ’bout cookies -I confess my stomach felt a mite empty- Leastaways, I’ll always remember those milky eyes: so deep with ‘perience, starin’ off to forever.

Next, I ‘member an old dog. He looked like Coon, my favorite when I was five. (Coon got done run down by a truck when I was eight; dumb dog.) But I loved that flea bag of fur. And he loved me. An’ this dog on the dirt track lifted his head all sad an’ he howled.

-And I remembered that Coon would howl like that when the ambulance ran by, like he knew what was what and was practicin’ for the funeral song that was shore to come.

I patted the dog like I had for Coon (“It’s all right, Boy”) and kept on keptin’ on.

Right past him was a preacher like you only see in stories these days. He waved his arms and spoke of heaven and hell, and did I know where I was going?

“Well, yessir I’m goin on down this road,” I tells him.

An’ he said did I know if I was saved? and I said I didn’ even know what needed savin,’ and afore I turned the bend and left him behind he’d slapped that Bible in his hand and waved a warnin’ finger but I still don’ know what needs savin’: him or me or Bibles.

I passed more people; a cat; another dog. Why they was all stuck where they were, like signposts on the road of life, was beyond me. Why couldn’t they move? Why was they all out there just waitin’ on me? I ain’t no one special, no more’n the next fellow. I ain’t keen. I ain’t got talent. I barely has the brains to carry on conversation -least that’s what my Pa would say.

Down that track I trudged, kickin’ up dirt and rocks. I can’t rightly say how far. I can’t even say how many souls I weaved round or talked to or was talked to. Seemed like forever.

And then, that’s when I realized it was. Forever, I mean. See, I’m walkin’ that road still today -whatever ‘today’ might be. I’s still talkin’ to th’ dogs an’ the granmas an’ the preachers.

Mostly, I aim to be a signpost one day. Maybe it’ll be when I finally listen.

27 thoughts on “That Ole Road of Life, Maybe

  1. obbverse September 6, 2022 / 3:35 pm

    Taken a different path on this one, pardner. I likes me that line about the hound dog howling at the passin’ ambulance; seems more to them words than I ken get my noggin around but.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Chel Owens September 6, 2022 / 3:41 pm

      Some folks they say they’s seein’ deeper than what’s there. Maybe they is and maybe they ain’t.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Geoff Stamper September 6, 2022 / 4:00 pm

    If you see me sleeping on the side of the road, see if you can wake me up when you come by.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. David Redpath September 6, 2022 / 6:05 pm

    Life can be like a dust bowl exodus.
    Brilliant writing, Chelsea. It brought
    to mind that John Steinbeck classic,
    ‘The Grapes of Wrath’.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tippy Gnu September 6, 2022 / 7:12 pm

    Great writing, in my view. Held me spellbound. Then again, I cain’t goes nowheres, bein’ as I’m a dumb ol’ signpost.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Prior... September 7, 2022 / 12:34 am

        and loved the whole diction and way you let us walk this road with ya
        hope your week is going well

        Liked by 1 person

        • Chel Owens September 7, 2022 / 1:03 am

          Even more thanks, though I least deserve it. Best of weeks to you!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Prior... September 7, 2022 / 1:09 am

            Well I haven’t read much fiction lately and so the post was a treat in my week

            Liked by 1 person

  5. johnlmalone September 6, 2022 / 11:34 pm

    I like this quirky one, I like the lingo you talk in, the memories you resurrect —

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nope, Not Pam September 7, 2022 / 5:07 am

    Great tale, I love that final line and you really got the language right. Brilliant Chelsea

    Liked by 1 person

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