If You Build It, They Will Come.

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

He wanted to write something profound.

And as he sat there looking at the screen, he realized it wasn't in him. A blank spot waiting to be filled with his thoughts, a white canvas waiting to be beautiful, and he had nothing. His thoughts hid in his head, not daring to show themselves. He could hear their whispers, this was their favorite game. Staying still inside a quiet cluttered attic, lit only by the moonlight in a soft blueish hue, as he frantically searched for them. The cat playfully running from its owner, hiding under the bed as the tornado sirens are going off.

It was all on the tip of his tounge, waiting patiently for a nudge that shows no sign of coming. He wanted to believe in Santa Claus without being niave. He did not want to be a child. He wanted more than anything to believe in the fantastic, not because he wanted it to happen, but because it could. He felt hopeless, and he knew that if St. Nick could land on his roof with eight little reindeer, then anything was possible.

He didn't care about "anything," though, he cared only about "something."

He wanted to be beautiful. He wanted to create. He wanted something. He felt wise beyond his years, and unappreciated within his own. He was loved. He is loved. He knows this. He forgets from time to time, because he is spoiled. He sees others smile, and he mocks them, because he has not found a smile of his own.

He has forgotten how to imagine. He has forgotten how to make-believe. He remembers playing G.I. Joe in his backyard thousands of times, everytime, except the first time. He wonders how it all started, he can't imagine suggesting such a ludicrous idea. That part of him is forever gone, and has given birth to a new part that knows how to tie a necktie. And as all these thoughts that so easily dripped out of him before now dance inside his head, he realizes that he cannot solve the puzzle. He can not remember how to let them go. They are static, frantic, insane, buzzing around his head like flies. And he can only hope to catch them without killing them.

He can feel his own brain, sitting deep inside his head. It sits there, near lifeless, yet somehow moving on the inside. He was groggy, slow, his eyes fought to open again after every blink. They could not hold out forever, they would eventually lose. He could feel his eyelids growing weaker.

He wondered if tomorrow would be the day. The day he would look back on for the rest of his life. Tomorrow could be the day he always remembered like it was yesterday. Maybe. The day he lost his arm. The day he won the lotto. The day he first saw her.

He knew he could be better. Better than what he is. And for the first time in his life he had a plan.

He dreamed. He loved to dream. He would love to dream and never wake up. To never hear a car horn, or a scream. To never see pain, to never see that woman with her protest signs. To never be cold, to never be hot. To never feel worried, sick, nervous, anger or fear again. To escape the cold light and cutting wind, the fingernails scraping on the chalkboard. Reality saturates him, hits him like a slap to the face every morning when his alarm goes off at 7:20. And at this point in his life he thinks he needs to feel alive. He has a great release, something that makes his heart beat, something worth moving for. It is his writing. And now that he stares at his blank screen, he daydreams. He hears his thoughts, and he knows they aren't coming out to play tonight.

His eyes turn to his brainkilling television. His thoughts aren't coming out, and now he doesn't care.

He doesn't want to dwell. Nothing profound is coming out tonight. Nothing profound to anyone else but himself. He wants to believe in Santa Claus without being niave. He wants the freedom to believe in something so beyond logic, that it would be generous to call it a longshot. He wants to believe in something.

Only one more longshot. That's all he thinks he'll ever need.

That is, of course, until he needs another one.


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