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Fast Forward: Mythological Middle-Aged Misinterpretations

                                    Allyson Abbott Williams


I’m driving down a street called Forest to a place called Mercury to meet a man named Martin and I’m ecstatic, terrified, and 50. Why did I ever agree to this? There’s a picture and a biography, take a look, feel free, my friend says. I say yes, I want love, to give it to find it to give it to keep it to give it to keep—

So I’m Mercury flying down Martin Street to a Forest full of men and did I mention, as I walk in, right on time, so rare for me, that I think I’m late so I look and there’s a man, sitting, casual. Maybe it’s him. And I’m Mercury having turned off Martin Street into a Forest of men and I’m terrified and so nervous I can’t stop myself so I ask him, and he’s not: Are you Martin, no. And I turn, cast my eyes aside, pretend I’m hidden in the Forest and no one but the non-Martin has seen my impulsive Mercury-misdirected energy. Except the woman, the Venus, adorned, splendid in everything or nothing, either scenario breaks necks, who asks the Mis-Martin: who was that? By then, I’m deep in the Forest pulling within as quickly as possible pushing branches dropping senses here, there and I turn and, oh . . .

Right then, through a path in the Forest, comes the real Martin and he’s concerned: have I been here long, have I had to wait, apologetic, polite, kind, so attractive (Apollo), and we approach the hostess and the room sways and she directs us to a table and I can’t quite decide should I sit in the booth, in the chair, on the ceiling, how to get up there intrigues me briefly or, should I just throw my body airborne, sort of, and see where I land?


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