Stuck In Iusta

Stuck In Iusta
by: Lawrence V. Drake

©2019 Lawrence V Drake

I have often passed through Iusta many times over my lifetime, but my recent stay lasted longer than ever before. I suppose that has to do with my advanced age. A lot of nice people live there, some bigger than life. It is a comfortable community, well suited to someone in their twilight years. That is not to say that there are not quite a few younger people in residence. It is not an exclusive community.

I have a lot of good memories in Iusta and some not so good as well. Nostalgia seems to be a prevalent trait among those living there. The longer I stay, the more nostalgic I get. When I gather together with friends and neighbors, we enjoy sharing our pasts and relating our life experiences. I suspect often the stories are somewhat embellished by time and distance, but no one questions a good tale.

The thing is, there is no direct route to Iusta. One can’t just arrive. The road there is full of twists and turns. A significant amount of travel time is required regardless of where one is coming from. The trip itself lends credence to the stories told over coffee and donuts.

I truly enjoy my visits, but after a while, I become restless and uneasy. The comfortable environment fades as the nostalgia begins to wear thin. I find myself repeating tales of my past that I have told too many times before. A bit of sadness creeps in as I contemplate the possibility that Iusta may become my permanent home in the not too distant future if I let it.

I have spent time in some surrounding communities that are even less attractive, so I shouldn’t be too critical. There is Shuda to the west, but the people of Shuda seem unsettled and depressed. I have been tempted to get a place there, if only as a retreat. I could sit on the porch, look out at the world, and ponder all the possibilities in life that passed me by. Foresight tells me that all too soon I would fit right in—not an attractive prospect.

Now, the residents of Kuda to the east, are always bragging about their abilities. I admit I have been guilty of that same malady on occasion, but those people never seem to accomplish anything. They talk a lot. Their location has a lot of potential, but no one seems to follow through with anything in Kuda.

Occasionally, I have found myself attracted to Wooda lying to the south of Iusta. It’s a community of reasonably competent and congenial people. They seem to have a comfortable life, although they often express regret in their life choices.

A part of me is attracted to Wooda. I’ve had a good life, great family, interesting and challenging jobs. A visit there makes me wonder what life would have been like had I chosen a different path. I will most likely visit there from time to time, but too much water has passed under the bridge for a permanent stay.

There is another community to the north that has a preponderance of young people. Of course, individuals of all ages live there, but the younger residents tend to have more energy and upbeat attitude than others. In Gunna, most people are excited about the future. They tend to make plans and share their enthusiasm with anyone who will listen. The truth is, most of them will eventually end up in one of the surrounding communities, but a few will bust out of the norm and achieve great things. I like the energy in Gunna, but I have to admit, it tires me out. I guess experience has taught me that the road out of town is most often longer and rougher than one anticipates.

At times I’ve visited them all, Gunna, Kuda, Shuda, and Wooda, but Iusta continues to call me back. I suppose, someday I will succumb to the inevitable when I no longer have any alternative. In the mean time, I will prod myself to stay on the road of life, creating new experiences, challenges, and accomplishments so that, when I finally get stuck in Iusta, I will have a satchel full of tales to keep myself, and my listeners entertained.

A great philosopher once said, “I yam what I yam, and that’s all that I yam.” I try to keep that in mind.

*** The End ***

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