An odd bit from a story I'm currently working on called Coffee and Aliens:
I drove home feeling more awake than I'd felt for months. Awake in a way that has nothing to do with the standard definition meaning “not asleep.” I thought about how everything used to seem possible to me when I was a kid; growing up to be a cat, just as likely as me getting a job in a restaurant.
I remembered the poster in my grade six class on door right across from my seat that I used to stare at when the lessons got boring. It was of the Robert Frost poem, about the two paths that diverged in the wood, one rocky and untrammaled, the other with stones worn smooth and dull by the pssage of so many feet. Robert Frost of course chose the path “least travelled” by. I remember staring at that poem day after day and thinking to myself, why did he have to take one of those two bloody paths at all? If it was me, I would've had a nice comfortable safari Jeep and ploughed straight through the space in between that looked all green and leafy in the picture, or fly a hang glider over the whole damned forest or use one of those giant drills they utilized to bore under the English Channel from Dover to France and then I'd go under both paths and come out the end where there'd be a big shopping mall with a toy store, or a sunny beach with loads of blue-green water. And supposing I took one of the paths on offer, who said I had to walk anyway? Maybe the evening was snowy and I could use cross countries skis to glide quickly over the smooth path. Or maybe if I was on the bumpy hard path I'd cycle it on a really cool high end mountian bike that could do three-sixty spins in the air each time I went airborn over the crooked rocks. And who said I had to be alone? Maybe I'd have a dog or a friend or a whole parade of drag queens playing disco tunes marching along behind me.
The longer I thought about it, I began to feel that the problem wasn't with walking down Road One or Road Two, it was with seeing that walking wasn't the only travelling option and knowing that there were always way more roads than the ones people tell you about, new roads being built, old ones being torn and then the super-old roads constantly being re-discovered by archaelogists on TV that everyone had forgotten were even there. If you just listen to what other people say and follow the roads they tell you about in the fashion they tell you to travel in, you're missing so many other, even wilder experiences.
When did I decide to accept that the choices I'd been offered. Other people said those were the only choices available, but why did I believe them? Since when did I make decisions based on other people's opinions alone? It's what makes science so great, isn't it, the fact that you're encouraged to challenge everything, to test it all for yourself and rebel against the orthodoxy of commonly accepted opinions. Real science, that is, not this spitting back of already processed information on multiple choice tests.
I recognized, as I drove home from my first contact with the alien, that the universe and even our pokey little university lab building itself, contained so much more than I gave them credit for. There were more crazy possibilities out there than I ever could have imagined and meeting that alien had made all the difference.
The world was full of magic and mystery, just as I'd always secretly expected it was.