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Why Don’t We Do It in the Road?

An homage to Nashville, my home for the past couple of days. This Cootchie Classic had my mother telling me EXACTLY where I was conceived, right there in the comments on the original post.

I’m going to spare your tender imagination, Dear Reader.

Just reading that title makes me want to hurl. But, my parents first lived in Nashville after they got married. I *think* I was conceived in the Country Music Capital of the World. My Mom can tell us whether or not that information is correct.

I hope she doesn’t. I’d really prefer to be kept in the dark on that one.

I tagged along with my husband on a work trip to Nashville this week, primarily because I wanted to visit The Hermitage. I didn’t get out there. We decided not to rent a car and, this being America, it isn’t easy to get twenty minutes outside of the city without a car. So, I was stuck downtown on a dreary, wet day.

Armed with scant information about my Mom’s working days in Nashville as a Group Chief Operator for the telephone company, I set out on foot in the rain. Right next to my hotel was an alley, Printer’s Alley, and I ducked into it to avoid the gale that was hurtling into my face and blowing my coat open. I walked along the wet bricks, paying attention to every step I took.

I know my Mom walked this way to work every day when she lived in Nashville.

Did my feet touch down where hers did, when I was nothing but a shaft of light in her eye? I was overcome by the urge to walk back and forth across the length of street, trying to cover every bit of it in an effort to step on something she may’ve touched before I existed. I had to stop and lean against the door of a strip club. Ironic that was the place where I wiped away a tear or two.

Leave it to me to walk down a public street and cry without shame or reservation. I wondered what my Mom thought about as she walked that way to work every day in the late 1960′s. Did I get a glimpse of anything she saw, teetering to her job in her high heels and smart dresses, her hair styled just so? I closed my eyes and tried to imagine my Mother, a girl in her twenties.

I think she brushed past me. And, she smiled.

44 Comments Post a comment
  1. Perhaps it was really here….

    February 24, 2012
    • Lou, that was really interesting and I can’t imagine anyone finding space in the Banana Car..

      February 24, 2012
    • What’s really great about the car is that the people sitting in the back can see over the heads of those in front……….

      February 24, 2012
  2. Myths are used in cultures to give ordinary live events more power…and it continues in real life…

    February 24, 2012
    • Or they are used just to mess with people’s heads. The Flying Spagetti Monster comes to mind….

      February 24, 2012
    • The myth was better than the real story.

      February 24, 2012
  3. And in answer to your title question, but it would be uncomfortable on the asphalt and we might get run over.

    February 24, 2012
    • mtm #

      Come on, Carnell…you know if she had titled it “Why Don’t We Do It on the Railroad Tracks” you would have been all over it!

      February 24, 2012
    • HAhahahahaha!!!

      February 24, 2012
  4. A subject I have never broached with my mother, and one I probably never will. Some things I’d just rather not know – as of this day I think my brother, myself and my two sisters were immaculate conceptions (haha), even attempting to go down this alley makes me shudder.

    Your last sentence left me with a tender smile. I think it’s my favorite line for the emotion evokes within me. When I was in Ireland I remember thinking the same things…did my ancestors walk these stone steps, did my ancestors touch this rock of a building, did they stand on the tourette and look out upon their land, or, were they the servants that ran up the winding stone steps when the bell was run by the lord or mistress of the house, did they breathe in the scent of the Atlantic Ocean, did they trip and fall on that blade of grass, did the look up and feel the rain kiss their face, did they feel the land ownership, did they cry when they left their beautiful green isle? I asked myself these and many, many more.

    Beautiful.

    February 24, 2012
    • Lori, your paragraph about your ancestors is lovely. I’ve done the same thing myself, sometimes even feeling like I’ve passed somewhere before when I’ve never been there.

      February 24, 2012
  5. Wonderful post Andra – filled with genuine warmth :) I’m sue your Mum is very proud of you!

    February 24, 2012
  6. The “where” is immaterial; only that it “did” is important. :)

    February 24, 2012
    • Haha! I wish I had thought of that before I wrote this originally…….

      February 24, 2012
  7. I love the title of the post!

    This is my favorite cover of the song!

    February 24, 2012
    • Someone on Twitter suggested that I do a series of posts with Beatles song titles. Hmmmmmmmmm…..

      February 24, 2012
  8. I wonder how many of us have never given much thought to identifying with the roads our mother’s have traveled, figuratively or otherwise. Your tender and emotional response speaks well of you, Andra. No wonder your time in Nashville is special! Debra

    February 24, 2012
    • It felt weird to walk that path, Debra. I don’t know why.

      February 24, 2012
  9. Beautiful contemplation; I’ve no doubt that she was your invisible shadow the whole time ~

    February 24, 2012
    • It was surreal to walk around that city the first time, about a year ago. I’ve since returned numerous times, and it feels like home there. One of the friendliest cities I’ve ever encountered.

      February 24, 2012
  10. Nashville on a rainy day is nothing fun!

    February 24, 2012
    • And cold. It was cold and wet that day. Unlike my last visit, where I took warm clothes and it was hot. :)

      February 24, 2012
  11. Our imagination takes us where ever we want to go . . . and allows us to do it in the road . . . without getting arrested. ;)

    February 24, 2012
  12. I’m pretty sure I know where I started out, Andra, though I prefer not to think about “that”. Tee hee I’m laughing because my dear mother was aghast when this song came out. I swear she blushed just hearing it.

    February 24, 2012
    • I still don’t know why my mind took trying to imagine my mother pregnant with me and turned it into THAT. :)

      I think I blush when I listen to that song, Penny, but I like it anyway.

      February 24, 2012
  13. Your Mom is awesome! I love that she ignored your point that you wanted to be kept in the dark. And didn’t just say where, but gave a whole rich story to go with it. (Of course I went and looked). And I’d love your Beatles series, I’m sure!

    February 24, 2012
    • When I’m done revising the tome, I will have renewed energy for creative series postings.

      I hope.

      A Beatles one might be popular. The music ones always are.

      February 24, 2012
  14. You know, Andra, you should try writing someday. Seems to suit you! :)

    I love walking somewhere others have trod in an earlier era. I was totally humbled by walking in to this church in the little village we lived in in England.

    You would have LOVED it. Here’s a link:
    http://www.sacred-destinations.com/england/oddington-st-nicholas-church.htm

    February 24, 2012
    • That’s mighty kind of you to say, as I sit here and struggle with a total rewrite of a chapter in my book.

      Sigh.

      You are correct about the church. I do love it. I will have to put it on my lengthy England list. I love the picture with the stone faces, and I am a sucker for effigies on tombs.

      When did you live in England?

      February 24, 2012
  15. I couldn’t , if I tried, say it any better than Lori. That evocative last sentence: what she said.

    February 24, 2012
    • MTM recommended your blog to the whole design team in Nashville yesterday. I hope you saw an uptick. :)

      February 24, 2012
      • Gracious! Thank him for me! I am honoured!

        February 25, 2012
    • Praise indeed. I’m glowing from the praise you and Andra have sent my way today. See what you evoke Andra? :)

      February 24, 2012
  16. I am so not asking my mom that question!

    I tend not to be sentimental in that particular way, but reading this piece made me kind of wish I was. It sounds like a beautiful moment.

    February 24, 2012
    • The moment I had WAS beautiful. The reveal of the actual circumstances…….not so much.

      February 24, 2012
  17. I’m a singleton, so I know my parents did it only once. In a bed, under the covers with the lights off, so I can’t see anything with my mind’s eye.

    February 24, 2012
    • Further underscoring the insanity of my EVER wanting to know. The eyes of my mind are permanently blinded……….

      February 24, 2012
  18. Lovely post… I could see the street you were walking. (That… sounds like you’re a hooker. Which is not what I intend.) Sadly, I know that I was conceived on July 4, 1976. My mother went so far as to say she and my father had their own fireworks. Mortifying. Especially since my mother is the Catholicest person I know and I was fairly sure there were never fireworks, ever.

    February 24, 2012
    • The hooker reference made me smile. Not bad at all. :)

      Sometimes, I think our parents need us to see them the way they used to be. Or, the way they WISH they were. Either way, we weren’t there to contradict them.

      February 25, 2012
  19. You’re a wonderful writer, young lady.

    February 26, 2012

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