Susanna Salk


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Detour
Friday, October 20th, 2017

When a detour took me down a road I have not traveled in a number of years, I passed a driveway to a property my husband and I had seriously considered pulling up roots nearby to renovate and live in “forever.” Our children were young and we were exhausted and busy and we did love our current house and yet… One drive up its seemingly endless stretch of driveway bordered by hundred-year-old trees and we were thrown into the fever pitch of possibilities of what if…as we researched and met with contractors and architects we discovered that the Rolling Stones had rented it one summer to rehearse there and my best friend’s mother‘s boyfriend had also rented it and she remembered smooching in front of its grand fireplace which also enamored me. And yet…the numbers just didn’t add up and the what ifs could never satisfactorily be answered. So we walked away. Driving by today was not unlike passing an old lover on the street: the memories flare but the reminder of why it didn’t work ultimately burns brighter. This house which once fervently occupied our daytime and nighttime dreams ultimately was forgotten. We did end up moving only 5 miles away to the lake which we love and in fact are renovating a new place which is maximizing our emotional bandwidth. We have moved on as one does. Still I drove up the endless driveway eager to see if the house had stayed more less in the same shabby chic state it had been when we had known it. Workers were planting bushes by the entrance and a snappy SUV was parked in the driveway. The house looked the same just slightly spiffier. The exterior have been painted a rather gloomy beige as if to tame the funky architecture that had once so intrigued and ultimately proved too challenging. I wondered if what really had enthralled me was the dazzling approach: my grandparents had lived at the end of a luxuriously long driveway near the ocean and the sense of drama every time I visited never got old. How clear everything seemed in hindsight. Or did it? One of workers looked up and waved. I waved back as though I had lived there all along and was just running out and would soon be home.