LAKE NO ONE: A FABLE

(Musings inspired by a frequently observed curbside marker along a busy Florida road.)

Imagine this. You see a signpost that says, Lake No One.

You think, how strange!

It is night. You are driving outside the heart of a city. You’d been approaching two small granite post on either side of the entrance to a narrow road. And a signpost by the granite posts, when you can finally read it — sure enough — tells you that this is, indeed, the entrance to Lake No One.

You see dwellings beyond the entrance. This is obviously a housing development around lakes, mostly man-made, that you know have proliferated around housing developments in this area. You wonder, is there no one in those houses? Nobody? No person? Is there a great dark emptiness around Lake No One?

And just what kind of a body of water might Lake No One be? Who’d want to live near it? No one, obviously. Hence, it was called Lake No One. Dark waters, no doubt, giving no reflection of sun or moon. Poisoned, perhaps. A lake of absence, named for no one.

After passing the sign, you continue to envision Lake No One somewhere at the end of that road, surrounded by bare trees typical of a landscape no one would want to visit in a place no one would want to live.

You think of the Beatles Song, “Nowhere Man.” Maybe you’d find Nowhere Man by Lake No One, “making all his nowhere plans for nobody.” Maybe you could talk to him; ask him why he didn’t aspire to be Somewhere Man. But you suspect he’d tell me he was happy being Nowhere, planning for Nobody. And you’d have to ask yourself, along with the Beatles, “isn’t he a bit like you and me?”

Nonetheless, in the spirit of exploration, you think: I must turn around and go back and drive down that road and explore Lake No One. It must be quite a place. Or, rather, quite a non-place.

But before you can turn, you find yourself approaching, after a short distance, yet another set of granite posts marked by yet another signpost marking a road into yet another neighborhood complex where there is apparently yet another lake.

The signpost say, Lake No Two.

It is followed by another entrance and another signpost that reads, Lake No Three.

Then comes, Lake No Four.

Crestfallen, you drive on, wondering why those who erect signposts would omit the period from their abbreviations. Unhappily, they’d succeeded in putting a period on your sense of intrigue –not to mention your hope that a visit to this Lake No One, if it truly existed, might, paradoxically, bolster your God-given need to be — Someone.

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