|Red Hen Press
|5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
All roads may lead to Rome, but they pass through CrossTown first.
Roads and streets run like veins and arteries through the beating heart of CrossTown. Each runs through all manner of distant and not-so-distant possibilities.
There's a theory in modern physics that posits a universe for every decision we make. Each time we choose, right or left, vanilla or chocolate, high or low, we split into separate universes. A vanilla me here, a chocolate me there, a rocky road with pistachio me somewhere else, and some poor lactose intolerant me further down the line. The dominant me is my subjective reality. In CrossTown, the probable mes collapse into the dominant wave, but all those wandering Ways continually wash other alternate lives, lives meant to be lived in CrossTown, up on its jagged shores.
The names of roads are choices; the turning and branching of roads are choices; roads are physical manifestations of their builders’ decisions. Think of roads like Loxis Falangos and Agiou Nikolaou in my home town of Thebes, flowing together to become Epameinonda. In one possibility, Loxis Falangos dominates, and Epameinonda doesn't exist. In another, Loxis Falangos takes the lead. In a third, Loxis Falangos flows into Epameinonda, and Agiou Nikolaou never carried any merry wanderers on its narrow back.
Think that's unique? Name a town. Take Longfellow and Hawthorne in Saint Louis, Missouri, which flow together, meld, then reappear as separate streets. In one possibility, Hawthorne is the single remaining street. In another, Longfellow takes the name of the blended road. The other road, the road not chosen, wanders off through possibility. In Eugene, Oregon, Tenth Street vanishes into a hill, then reappears on the other side. Broadway murders Ninth and has hidden its body and killed its name. In Frankfurt, as with many old cities, roads change names as they run merrily along, belying their age by twisting and turning like young byways through narrow spaces, desperate to keep their figures trim, caught in a race for eternal youth, spinning off alternate possibilities like dream factories.