It was a road. It invited the person to go nowhere particularly. It ended in a dry creek bed. He had walked this path perhaps five or ten times, and on two of those occasions he had seen a woman, different each time, walk down the short path to the creek bottom. The short road was paved but it ended in stones, dirt, and weeds with little pools of water turned brackish since the last rain. What could have attracted them to the end of that road, then to stand motionless? Was it the thought of adventure, or was it the realization of a dead end?
What was it they wanted beyond the easy comfort of a paved road? Maybe some were willing to take up that quest, but the only two he saw in the last week turned back. They had no business going beyond the end of the road. Who could blame them? Beyond them were rocks, weeds, sand, and pockets of shallow water, unfit for exploration, and with no easy return.
It is said that women want security and that they will tolerate a host of certainties if you just add the certainty of money. I tell myself my frailties were intolerable because I lacked money. It’s a story I like to tell. It works better than the dead-end road story, or to admit the adventure they saw in me was no more than snakes, turtles, and ducks in a dry creek bed when they wanted the lions and water buffalo from a Hemingway tale. They were civilized intelligent women. They did the numbers for themselves.