Just one step out of the door and one is on the path. Who knows where it will go? Most days, though, I keep the door firmly closed and let the path run on, invisible, outside of my scattered attention.
I can hear, if I am calm, the babble of the characters outside. Sometimes, the snatch of a song or the echo of a shout bounces in and I start thinking of sitting down and setting out, of pulling out a pen or turning on the computer and following where the ideas will lead. If I've been 'good,' as I think of good, and have been working on stories and the like, I will start out, garrulous with my companions and in for the trip.
If I haven't been good, I turn to a glass of soda and a round of excuses. But what about those glimpses of the roads that run outside someone else's door? My husband mentioned an idea today--a story of transforming arcade games called Arcadians who live among us, abandoned with the slow decay of arcades or jostling uneasily between Chuck-E-Cheese locations. As a child of the florescent 80's, this caught my attention. I remember the way that you'd get dressed up to go a restaurant and end up squashed in a skee-ball corner, contemplating how depressing dusty carpet and black paint could be while your friend's younger brother racked up the tickets. Eventually, you'd go liberate some plastic toy from it's glass showcase and head home, exhausted and pulsing with the music, light, and sugar.
I don't think this was his idea and I don't think we shared the same experience of the decade at all, but we did share awareness of certain shows and video games, and the glimpse of the arcade game in a neighborhood garage that precipitated this post. I'm tempted to sneak out on that path and find out what those characters are saying and doing while he installs the curtain rod. Maybe they're going someplace that will be more interesting that someplace I've already been.