It was not a snowy evening when I walked through the woods of Gila Forest, but there were miles to go before I sleep. And two trails did diverge. So, being almost as slothful as I am gluttonous, I took the one that appeared to be the easiest.
Just as I hit my exertion limit, a clearing appeared before me. In the clearing was a single chair. On the chair were written the words “Please leave here. It matters to this old man.”
Walking around the clearing I saw no old man. I carefully circled the chair, wondering if the act of sitting down might violate some ancient commandment of the wilderness.
As I cautiously, yet bravely, lowered my buttocks into the comfort of the mysterious furniture, a vision as real and unsettling as the setting sun flashed before me. A gray-bearded man, possessed by obvious lunacy, charged out of the woods screaming and waving a wooden staff. Picking up a similar staff from the forest floor, I met his advancement with a charge of my own.
We battled for what seemed like hours. Whacking at each other with our god-given-weapons while bears, bunnies and a gallery of beasts lined the edges of the clearing cheering and hissing at our martial ineptitude. Reaching a point of total exhaustion, I gave up the fight and collapsed into the chair. Much to my relief, the old man vanished as suddenly as he had appeared.
Had my attacker ever really been? Whose chair was this? Had it been waiting for eons just for me? Could anyone else see it? Did my opponent resemble me, or I him?
I suffer with these puzzles that produce only greater conundrums.
James BigBoy Medlin © 2016
James BigBoy Medlin was the sports writer for the original Austin Sun. His column was called "Why Not?"
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