There’s only one place in America that I really miss. No, it’s not Times Square, the only Times Square that I know is long gone; not Central Park, I had enough of that when I was there, in New York, that and everything else too, especially the filth and the noise.
I liked the Giant Sequoias in California, they were nice, I don’t miss them. Yosemite is nice, very nice, I don’t miss it. Lots of beautiful memories, lots of places that I’ve never been, lots of good museums, I don’t miss any of it. New Orleans? Almost, but I missed out on that one big time. I had a ticket once, that’s a long story. I don’t care to go now.
The place that haunts me, and the loss of which makes me sad, is the Adirondacks, the mountains and the lakes, the forests, the trees, but mostly the lakes, one lake in particular. Lake George.
The Ticonderoga end, the Rogers’ Rock bend, Black Point Road. I’m sure that the “Sly Fox” is gone, a classic Criss Craft runabout, an eighteen footer. I’m sure that I wouldn’t recognize a lot of it. I don’t care.
I know that I would remember the feel of the water, the great, clear, heavy Lake George water. Several times a year I dream myself swimming in the lake, and I can feel the water very accurately, the water so cold but so welcoming. I know that I would welcome the sound of the little pseudo-waves that hit the rocky edge of the lake in the morning. I don’t really care what I’d see, or what I’d remember, that is my place. That is the only place in America that I long to get back to once before I die. Too look at Rodgers’ Rock; to see the rain on the lake’s surface; to walk along the road at night, unable to see my shoes but covered with a hundred million stars. (I’d probably have to go to Canada for that one.)
I don’t care what I’d find. I don’t care what it has all become. I need to be there. To close my eyes and swing my head back and just be there. I need to go back, no agenda, no excuses, no expectations. There will come a time when it stretches from horizon to horizon, when it becomes my entire world, my entire focus, my reason to go on, to go back, to see it and feel it, to smell the thick mat of forest-corruption, to listen to the birds, I know, I’ve heard so many birds, but I want to hear those birds, those Adirondack birds, those Lake George birds, and listen to those little waves, just a couple of mornings, and I’ll be happy, after that I can die happy.