I was thirteen when they came to Bethel in droves– hippies, freaks, artists, sexpots. It was a beautiful, colorful sight to see. Every time they came the world turned into a bright shade of sepia, as though signaling the beginning of a welcoming eternal summer. 

I remember climbing to the roof when I heard the music start from the farm. It may have been far but I could see the white woman onstage, and I could hear her drawl. It was a beautiful, sexual drawl, one filled with years of torment and pain and sadness and longing. I felt for the woman, and I loved her sad, sensual song. 

By the time it was all over I wanted to get rid of everything. Before they came, I wanted to be a doctor– I had plans to go to college and study medicine and marry and make love to only one man. Now I felt like I wanted to leave that all behind and just be something else… something more. So I ran away from home and wrote songs about what I had heard and the people I saw. I learned how to send them in and wait for feedback. Sometimes, I would sing them and hold out a jar people would fill with dollar bills and letters of love. 

It was a beautiful, blissful time, and I wish it had all come true. I wish it had happened. I wish I hadn’t woken up and let all those silent dreams never come true. I wish I hadn’t studied hard and gone off to medical school and married the first man who promised me he wouldn’t leave. Because he did. 

And here I am now, writing this… in the middle of the house where all those happy dreams first came alive.

There’s rope on the table beside me and a knife under the carpet. 


One thought on “Regrets

  1. But we were changed, all the same, and somehow liberated. Either way, there would have been regrets. Four novels later, I’m still trying to figure out exactly what happened. It was nothing like the media stereotypes, for certain.

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