A Trip to the Multiplex

I'm down in NYC for a couple of days, and as always, it has me thinking about the road(s) not taken...

A Trip to the Multiplex

Every life is the product of decisions.
Big one, small ones,
even (especially?) ones that we're not aware of at the time.

Left, right, up, down, coffee, bourbon, him, her, city, country, dogs, cats, Bach, Mozart ....
Each adjusts the trajectory of a life, my life, your life, changing everything, forever.

Sometimes I catch glimpses of other lives I missed,
or dodged, through my choices.
Flashes brought about by something I see or smell
or a song on the radio or a place that I visit.

My other lives are all real, just not to me.
They're real to other Jamies,
on other trajectories, in other realities.

In one, I work at a zoo in Syracuse,
others have me with two children (or none), 
or with different (less and/or more) friends and family
in my life.

There are lots of lives that ended years ago ... in a shallow grave by the side of a road near Lago Agrio,
gnawed bones outside of a small town in northern Manitoba,
drowned in a cold and dark and forgotten cistern near Tahawus.

Choices that I made, or didn't make.
Mistakes that I made, or didn't make.
Each one a turning point,
a fork in the road, a branching, a new reality.

Sometimes I see them all, and the weight of what I've done
(or left undone) staggers me.
Other times I wish that I'd gone that way, instead of this ... stupid, but hard (for me, at least) to avoid.

I picture alternate me doing this or that, living here or there ... sometimes with funny accents/hats/food/dogs.
On good days I'm proud of my choices,
on bad days I resent them,
wishing I could turn back the clock.

I like my actual life, an amalgam of choices,
good and bad, hasty and considered.
It's a fortunate thing too ... the other ones are all interesting, but we can't live in the multiplex.

In this version of my life, I'm hanging with my favorite, and only, sister, and we're going to see a crappy movie this afternoon that we'll both love.



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