The Two Sides of The Road

I’m out of town right now, driving into a posh little village in the highlands where old world charm has embraced modern medicine and the local folk are well to do enough to warrant an imaging centre with an MRI machine.

They are scanning my head today, the new random doctor I went to for migraine pain relief at 8am on a public holiday wants to help me, fix me, bless his heart. 

He thinks I may have a tumour, which is an inaccurate yet understandable conclusion considering my symptom history, but alas it is hard to explain to him that my particular type of crazy can’t be surgically removed. 

Years ago I may have been excited by a medical doctor who didn’t immediately throw me in the too hard basket or bundle me straight off to the psych ward, but by now I have accepted that there isn’t going to be a visual representation of my ails on a scanner that will check off a list for a nice neat little treatable medical diagnosis. 

Yeah, it’s all in my head; but that’s okay.

There are two different worlds here in this quaint little town, they appear as alternate dimensions coexisting seamlessly despite ghosts of opposing realms popping up momentarily to collide one’s truth into another’s.

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Upper class ladies filled with small town egocentricities shop for vegan soaps and gossip about their neighbours affairs, while gaunt broken women with dirty clothes and crooked smiles gather near dumpsters in hidden allyways. 

One may never know the other existed, depending on which side of the bustling street you wish to look. The aroma of organic coffee beans wafts gently from one realm into the other, but the shadow side bares the generic bitter taste of real world life. 

Living in a perfect bubble, perhaps wilful ignorance serves best as across the street a man named Brian pays $5000 for a new suit, grabs his morning latte from the smiling barista who calls him by name each day even though Brian has never bothered to reciprocate, he dashes off again in a hurry to be somewhere important most will never get to go. 

Neither of these worlds are like mine, we run in different circles. A lean to either side perhaps dependant on the given day, the given mood. 

Shop windows reveal exquisite class and sophistication with enough mismatched beads to create a false sense of casual whimsy. Perfectly put together vintage-bag-lady for only $799, Gypsy skirts and tie dyed scarves with a price tag high enough to fashionably bring out your inner hippy. 

I hate that I love it so much.

There are two types of modern hippy, there are those who wear the clothes, drink almond milk in public and peruse antique furniture stores while secretly fantasising about their hot Swedish massage therapist named Sven…

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And then there are those who live the lifestyle full time, taking from the earth only what they need and eating home grown organic vegetables quietly in the shadows because they truly believe in a cause greater than themselves. 

You can tell the difference quite easily by the number of selfies on their social media accounts.

I fear we are more the former, despite idealist parts of us yearning desperately to clutch onto more than just flowing fabrics and dive into the elusive and over romanticised freedom of that gypsy road less travelled. But alas, we also like our hot showers and our iPhone…

A sirens wail snaps me from my day dreams as police lights flash into view and I notice a scruffily dressed woman yelling obscenities at a man twice her size with tattoos for skin as they stand in the carpark of a picturesque ye olde lolly shoppe.

 The woman redirects her rage toward the approaching policeman and I keep walking past them towards the imaging centre with my head down, I take a long sip of my organic kombucha through the candy striped paper straw and like everyone else, I pretend not to notice. 

 

I wonder if MRI machines can detect societal blindness?

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