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God Never Gives Us Back Our Youth

There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call "The Twilight Zone".
Manny had just crossed the Tappen Zee Bridge, when he thought that he saw an odd sight, the motel on the mountain.  
“Jeez, my eyes must be playing tricks on me.  That place hasn’t been here for forty years.”
He was planning on driving up Old Route 17 in New York State on this cold Friday evening.  It brought back memories.  When he was younger his parents would always take him to the resorts near Monticello for weekends away.  Later in life he must have gone to a dozen or so Singles weekends.
The same people were always there.  He thought back about a Single’s Weekend at Grossingers in 1985, which had an “oldies” theme.  It wasn’t the resort’s heyday.  The best that they could get was Gary U.S. Bonds and Tiny Tim.  But that was the weekend that he had met his wife, Becky.
He saw a billboard, “Appearing at the Browns, Mal Z. Lawrence and Alan King .”
“Wow, you’d think that they’d take sign down by now,” Manny said out loud.
This was once a great area. He tried to remember all of the resorts. Well-known resorts of the area included Brickman's, Brown's, The Concord, Grossinger's, Granit, the Heiden Hotel, Irvington, Kutsher's Hotel and Country Club, the Nevele, Friar Tuck Inn, The Pines Resort, The Homawack, Raleigh, the Overlook, and the Windsor.
Most of these places were gone now.  A few years ago he had a conference at what was once the Granit.  He remembers thinking that they hadn’t cleaned it since it was the Granit.
Manny was getting tired.  He knew that he’d never make it as far as the Roscoe Diner, so he pulled over in Southfields at the old Red Apple Rest.
“This place hasn’t changed since I was a kid.” Manny said to the young lady at the cash register.  “You know my wife was a cashier here about 25 years ago.  You look a bit like her.”  
The cashiers took the quarter for the coffee and said nothing.  Just like Manny’s late wife, she seemed shy.
He got into the 1977 Datsun 280Z, without realizing that he had cracked up that car in 1986.  He and Becky were unharmed in the accident.  He learned from that accident.  You could say that he had a catharsis.  It was time to grow up. But, boy did he love that car!
He wasn’t going to make it all the way to Binghamton. He knew that Kutsher’s was still open, “Wouldn’t it be fun to stay there!” he thought.
The place was packed with young people.  A song was playing that he hadn’t heard for years.
And so you have come back to me
And say the old love's growing yet
You tried through all these weary years
You tried too vainly to forget
Manny thought many of the young people looked familiar.  One even looked liked him.
Oh no I cannot take your hand
God never gives us back our youth
The loving heart you slighted then
Was yours my friend in perfect truth
“I’m sorry sir, we have no rooms available.  We have a single’s event taking place.  Your welcome to rest for a while.  Have a cup of coffee on us.” said the hotel captain to Manny.
Come close and let me see your face
Your raven hair is tinged with snow
Oh yes it is the same dear face
I loved so many years ago
Manny sat, and thought about the odd events of the day.   Suddenly it all came together for him.  He ran to the parking lot and jumped into his 2008 Lexus, and got back on Route 17 headed back to the Red Apple Rest. The song that he had heard overhead, now played in his head.
Oh no I cannot take your hand
God never gives us back our youth
The loving heart you slighted then
Was yours my friend in perfect truth
Farewell I think I love you yet
As friend to friend God bless you dear
And guide you through these weary years
To where the skies are always clear
Manny arrived at the Red Apple Rest.  But, it was closed.  Not closed for the night, but shutdown and boarded up.
Oh no I cannot take your hand
God never gives us back our youth
The loving heart you slighted then
Was yours my friend in perfect truth
We present Manny, a lonely saddened man, desperately missing his one true love.  Now his sadness is enhanced, because he realizes that he found her again, for a brief moment, in the Twilight Zone.
Oh no I cannot take your hand
God never gives us back our youth
The loving heart you slighted then
Was yours my friend in perfect truth 


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 29th, 2009 07:05 pm (UTC)
l'm absolutely speechless. this ls so beautiful, and sadly oh so true.
Mar. 29th, 2009 07:09 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I was originally writing it as a satire of a Jewish single weekend. It just took off.

The song is one of my favorites.
Mar. 29th, 2009 07:22 pm (UTC)
That's where l thought you were going, wasn't sure though which specific direction, so this was totally unexpected.

You really changed course completely. Thank you. l think. lt's such a sad song. l hadn't heard lt ln years and am listening now. The song as well as what you have written ring too true.
Mar. 29th, 2009 07:31 pm (UTC)
The song is great. I love the harmonies. I didn't think of the words until I started writing.

Sometimes things fit. I rarely write seriously.
Mar. 29th, 2009 07:54 pm (UTC)
Very cool.
Mar. 29th, 2009 07:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you. This one was fun.
Mar. 29th, 2009 09:35 pm (UTC)
A story worthy of the master, Rod, himself. And the images of that stretch of I 287 and The Quickway ware perfect.
My great-grandfather had a hotel (Cohen's Forest Inn) in Hurleyville from WWI thru 1950; it was the family summer 'camp' after.
Mar. 29th, 2009 09:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you. That was a great area. I remember those Billboards vividly. It wasn't a bad way to grow up.
Mar. 29th, 2009 11:55 pm (UTC)
Wow! You are amazing.

I think now of your desire to be a writer. You are a writer!!
Mar. 30th, 2009 12:07 am (UTC)
Thank you. This one was fun to write.
Mar. 30th, 2009 12:36 am (UTC)
That's great. You are a thrill and you have a gift!

Continue to honor your gift!

You benefit as do we!!
Mar. 30th, 2009 12:43 am (UTC)
Last night, when I thought o this, it was going to be a satirical look at a Catskills singles weekend. It just went in another direction.
Mar. 30th, 2009 12:54 am (UTC)
And that is writing. It follows its own direction and you allowed it. Hooray for you!!
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )



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