I don’t know why I can’t erase my mind’s picture of the place. It comes less often than before, but when it does, it is more vivid, more deeply ingrained and yields to no neglect. I knew I had to go again.
I came upon it first; it was the early sixties, its faded neon lights flashing Angler Motel at the top of the hill where it lay beneath a grey-capped, peach-sherbet sky.
In the parking lot, pot-holed and graveled, I sat solitary in my car trying to decide whether I understood her invitation or if I was foolishly entertaining my inclination to fantasize.
I followed her from the diner, her subtle invitation I inferred. I drove fewer than ten miles, lost her briefly when she topped the hill, and then almost driving past the place myself, I saw her tear-drop tail lights go dim.
I followed, no less assured fate drew me there. Now I waited while she attended matters at the front desk.
I didn’t know her. Or maybe I did. And there was something about this place; solitary atop the hill where lovers’ dreams born here, blow away, sucked up in the wake of speeding tractor-trailers and weary travelers rushing past, pressing on, opting for a better place.
I was older now. Wiser too. Yet here I was again, transplanted amidst neon vacancies and croaking frogs, immersed in the wistfulness of Elusive Butterfly, whispers from the AM dial. Waiting. Wondering . . . when would she be here too?
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