In spite of the fact that I came from a home located in the city of Pain on the street called Nightmare on the dark planet of Doom where love was a desert and air was a rare commodity, I had dreams.
I dreamed of someday finding a well of love bubbling for me in the heart of another.
I dreamed of being a writer. A good one. One who put words together in such a way that hearts were deeply moved. Words that let the broken know they were not alone, that they weren’t worthless, hideous or hopeless and that helped them to discover their incredible value and unique beauty. Words that made a difference. That changed things; perhaps even the course of history. But certainly, the course of a life or two.
I dreamed of finally leaving this wretched planet and of earning my citizenship on the planet of Normal. Of living in the city of Acceptance. A city where the sun shines more often than not. Where the neighborhoods – and neighbors – were safe enough for me to travel without my ghost costume…the one that makes me almost invisible. I dreamed of being a regular person there on the planet of Normal in the city of Acceptance, living on the corner of the streets of Fulfillment and Joy. That place where the sun perpetually shines.
Yes, I dreamed I would make a difference. Once I finally made it to planet Normal.
I dreamed I would leave a mark. A worthwhile legacy.
But here I sit, in the dark on the airless planet of Doom, looking back at the young dreamer I once was with deep sadness and much regret. I am watching my dreams fall like dying stars. Streaking through the night until they dissolve into nothingness.
I live on this planet not because I am still being abused. My childhood abusers are long dead. Not because I am being beaten or continually harmed. But what keeps me here is this: I no longer believe. Not in myself. Not in the outcome of my quest. I have discovered while on my many journeys over the harsh terrain of this god-forsaken planet I have repeatedly attempted to escape, leaving the planet of one’s birth is not as easy as it sounds. Because where you begin gets inside of you. It stays with you. Permeates every fiber of your being. Keeps a tight grip. Brands you. And branded, broken, beaten down foolish dreamers aren’t often able to immigrate to a beautiful planet like Normal. Where air is free and you don’t have to pay to exist. It doesn’t work that way. The damage that was done remains.
Dreams fall like dying stars from the sky of this planet of darkness and death. Not the kind of stars you wish upon. Not the kind of stars that herald hope. These are stars that mark the end. The end of every wish ever wished. Of every goal you ever pursued. Of every chance, opportunity and option. The end of everything. Everything you were, are and will come to be.
When dreams die, it no longer matters that one is sitting in the deep darkness in the isolating city of Pain on the planet of Doom. Because when dreams perish, hope and expectations also cease to exist. Sitting in the utter darkness somehow seems fitting. There is a peace to be found in finally giving up the fight. In admitting this is as good as it gets. It no longer matters that “as good as it gets” is indeed rather appalling.
Dreams fall like dying stars, crashing all around me while twitching with chaotic, hideous spasms. I am numb to their death. For as they, these hopes and aspirations I have held close for so long, streak across the sky, their light flaring in their final journey before they quietly expire, so do I feel the fire within me growing cold.
The ember is extinguished as the sky grows dark. Until there is nothing left to see.